- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) - The Archdiocese of Hartford is making what it calls a “difficult decision” to merge two Catholic elementary schools in Hamden.

The archdiocese says St. Stephen School will close and it 150 students will be transitioned to St. Rita School, located about a mile away, starting next fall.

The combined school will educate pre-K through eighth-grade students.

Officials say the decision was made for fiscal reasons. Parents will be given $500 in tuition assistance to help cover the cost of new uniforms.

The archdiocese’s “Stewards for Tomorrow” pastoral process seeks to combine more than 200 parishes into 117 so-called “pastorates.”

These distinct parishes can consist of one or more churches grouped together.

St. Gabriel School in Milford closed in March 2016.

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