Diocese of Buffalo, Office of Communications
Buffalo, NY, June 27, 2023 - Bishop Michael W. Fisher has accepted the recommendation of the Immaculate Conception School of Allegany County Board of Trustees to cease operations at the PreK through 6th grade school located in Wellsville, NY.
The school, begun more than 125 years ago under the direction of Wellsville's Immaculate Conception parish, became a diocesan regional school under the auspices of the Diocese of Buffalo in 2007. In the 2022-2023 academic year that just ended, the school had 46 students in its PreK through 6th grade.
School enrollment had seen a steady decline in recent years and confirmed student registration for this upcoming year was fewer than 20 students. As a result of the low projected enrollment, and a recent history of operating at a budget deficit, the difficult recommendation was made by the board of trustees to cease operations.
"One of the most challenging decisions to make as a bishop is to close a Catholic school," explained Bishop Fisher. "This community has tried valiantly to sustain this longstanding school and the harsh recent economics, and the realities of the upcoming lack of enrollment, force us to make this unfortunate decision."
"We would like to commend the great support of Canonical Administrator Father Jim Hartwell and principal Caitilin Dewey, and also thank the Sisters of Mercy for their long history of involvement with the school," Bishop Fisher concluded.
For more than 145 years, Immaculate Conception School of Allegany County had been dedicated to nurturing young minds in our community. An integral part of the Immaculate Conception Parish and neighborhood, ICS offered a challenging and balanced curriculum beginning with children in our Pre-K program through 8th grade. High moral and academic standards coupled with self-discipline provided a safe and creative environment for learning in all grades.
WE'D LIKE TO THANK WELLSVILLE AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES FOR THEIR SUPPORT OVER THE MANY, MANY YEARS!