CHICAGO (CBS) — Monday is the first day of school for many students in the Chicago area, and it’s the first day of classes ever at the new Pope Francis Global Academy.
The first Chicago school named after Pope Francis has two campuses: one in the Gladstone Park neighborhood, and the other in the Portage Park neighborhood.
Four Catholic schools – St. Cornelius, Our Lady of Victory, St. Pascal and St. Tarcissus – consolidated to create Pope Francis Global Academy, so some of the kids and teachers already are used to their surroundings.
The creation of Pope Francis Global Academy was a nearly two-year-long collaboration process between the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and teachers and parents at the four schools, due to declining enrollment.
“At the very beginning, there was a little trepidation. Everybody was a little worried about how it was all going to come together. Seeing everybody meet each other, and get to know each other, and that it finally happened is great,” said parent Meredith Gioia.
The head of Pope Francis Global Academy declined to talk about specific enrollment numbers, but called it “healthy.”
The north campus is housed on the site of the old St. Tarcissus school, and the south campus is located at the old St. Pascal school building.