Strengthening Catholic Education in the Diocese of Rockford was and is the goal of the Faith Forward Strategic Planning process for schools, begun over two years ago all over the 11-county diocese.

Finding solutions to maintain the high quality of Catholic education in schools around the diocese, and to do so in a cost-effective way for parishes and parents, was the goal identified in the plan.

In Rockford, a Joint School committee made up of parish and school representatives from the Cathedral of St. Peter School, St. Bernadette , St. James and St. Edwards began working last year to identify ways they could collaborate. The committee began looking at ways the parishes in west and central Rockford could expand their curriculums, offer more extracurricular choices while being affordable and maintaining the high quality of the Catholic education and identity they now offer in a cost effective way.

In the Spring, the Diocese of Rockford, with the Rockford Task Force Committee, announced the creation of a new school, All Saints Catholic Academy, starting in the 2019-2020 school year.

All Saints Catholic Academy will be located in the St. James School building, consolidating four schools, St. James, St. Edwards, the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Bernadette (closed June 2018).

"We are committed to enhancing the educational program and expanding the extra-curricular opportunities for our students," said Michael Kagan, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Rockford. "Making the transition in the 2019-2020 school year gives us time to plan thoughtfully and involve our parishes, schools and families in this exciting process."

Financial and spiritual support of the new school will come from eight Rockford area parishes including St. James, St. Edwards. the Cathedral of St. Peter, St. Bernadette, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Patrick, SS. Peter and Paul and St. Stanislaus Kostka.