Media Contact: Maureen Smith
Director of Communications, Diocese of Jackson
(601) 969-3581 — firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the announcement that our out-of-state students would no longer be eligible to participate in the Mississippi High School Activities Association competition, the diocesan and school leaders have focused on what steps should be taken that would be in the best interest of the students and families we serve. At the request of Bishop Joseph Kopacz each of our Catholic schools located along the Mississippi river – Natchez–Cathedral. Greenville-St. Joseph, Natchez-Cathedral, Vicksburg-St. Aloysius — met with school stakeholders to review the impact of the recent MHSAA decision on our out-of-state students and their families.
In order to have a clear understanding of the options, school administration had preliminary conversations with the leadership of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS). MAIS leadership expressed interest in having our schools join their association, and indicated that they would work with our school leadership to make the transition based on what is best for students. In an effort to be pro-active, the MAIS executive committee considered the possibility of having our schools join their organization and determined that they would accept applications from our schools. After thorough consideration of the issues and options, each school submitted a request to the superintendent and the bishop to be granted permission to join MAIS. The minutes of the meetings of each school community were reviewed and the merits each request were considered. Bishop Kopacz has approved each request to join MAIS, and effective immediately, Greenville St. Joseph Catholic School, Vicksburg Catholic School, and Cathedral School will apply for membership in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools.
The students and families of St. Joseph Catholic School in Madison are not impacted by the exclusion of out-of-state students and will remain as members of Mississippi High School Activities Association at this time. Consideration of what is best for their students will guide any decisions going forward.
We appreciate the welcome that MAIS leadership has extended to our schools and their openness to develop a transition plan that will meet the needs of all the students served by our schools. We look forward to the opening of the 2015-16 school year and the opportunity for all of our students to participate fully in our academic program and extra-curricular activities.