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All-Boys Mount Carmel Catholic High School Weighing Whether to Go Co-Ed

If approved, the school will become coeducational during the 2023-2024 school year.

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Mount Carmel High School in Chicago's Woodlawn community has been an all-boys school since its founding more than 120 years ago. But that could soon change.

In a message posted on its website, the Catholic high school said it's exploring the possibility of becoming coeducational in 2023.

Brendan Conroy, president of Mount Carmel High School, says demographics are down in both public and private schools, and that's why the school is discussing the possible shift.

"We'd rather make a decision as we look at those challenging demographics ahead, out of a position of strength, rather than finding ourselves down the road, perhaps having to make a decision out of a position of something less than strength," he said.

As stated in the message on the school's website, growth has been elusive for all single-gender schools in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. However, growth is occurring in coeducational settings, according to leaders.

Rev. Carl Markelz, a former principal and president of the school, said the Carmelites, which founded the educational institution, "applaud this exploration, since it intends to build on the strengths of an already strong school."

"Now is the time for the Mount Carmel community to enter into constructive dialogue about coeducation," he stated.

People connected to the school have expressed various opinions about the possibility on social media.

Some argue the change would be "disastrous" and say the "time is not right."

Others claim their daughters should receive the same opportunities they were given when they attended Mount Carmel.

"We want all opinions, it means people care deeply," Conroy said.

Conroy stressed no decision has been made, and everyone's opinion is welcome, whether they're for or against the change. If approved, the school will become coeducational during the 2023-2024 school year.

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