By Kirsten Glavin

@kirstenglavin

NEWPORT, RI –  After 60 years of educating it's students, the Cluny School in Newport is closing, according to the school’s spokesperson.  The Principal of the Catholic Elementary School along with the Board of Directors, broke the news Wednesday afternoon to parents and staff.

"Our school has seen declining enrollment, similar to the Diocese of Providence,” said Richard Smith, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

According to Smith who spoke to ABC6 over the phone, the number one reason for the closure is due to declining enrollment. He added that the competition between schools in Newport, hasn't helped.

"There are a number of new schools in Newport that are considered private, and they're competing for the same schools we are,” he said.

Statistically, enrollment decline at The Cluny School has been down about 25% in the past 3 years, according to Smith. The empty desks mean the school cannot keep up financially.

Faculty and staff found out about the closure in a meeting that was held Wednesday at 4pm. Parents were notified by email about a separate meeting, which  took place shortly after at 5:30pm.

With no other option, Smith said the school is forced to close at the end of the 2017 academic school year.

"The financial support that we have received from the sisters of St Joseph of Cluny School has reached its limits," said the Chairman.