Holy Redeemer Catholic School to Close: “Schools Are Now a Business”

Heavy emotions filled Holy Redeemer Catholic School’s lunchroom yesterday during the public meeting about the school’s unexpected closure.

Sister JoAnne, the principal of Holy Redeemer Catholic School stated during the meeting that she believes schools are no longer what they once were – they are now businesses that rely on attending students to fund raise and due to the few students attending the school, funding is the main contributing factor to the schools termination.

“Schools are now a business, no matter where your child will attend – be it public or private, fundraising will be a thing, and without children there is no fundraising and without fundraising there will be no funds,” Sister stated.

After being part of the community for over 70 years, the private school is scheduled to close at the end of the school year due to lack of enrollment, leaving over 40 families wondering where to enroll their children.

Father Mark stated that the only thing that has gotten the school through the past few semesters was a generous donation from someone who had passed, and now that the donated money has ran out and without reaching the minimum number of child enrollment per year there is no more funding.

While several of the attending families questioned why the school wasn’t given a probation period before the option of closure, Father Mark answered that the school is completely out of money and has to close as soon as possible.

“I cannot force people to fund raise, just like you cannot force your friends to enroll their children here,” Father said in response to why more fund raising was not pursued previously.

With the option of fundraising unlikely to be more than a temporary delay of the inevitable closure, Father Mark said that only enrollment will reverse the damage; requiring nearly double the current enrollment of 42 students by April in order to keep the doors open.

“It’s just another piece of town that’s leaving,” a mother of an attending student said as she expressed her disappointment in the closure, furthering that she feels as though it’s a step back in the community.

Many families suggested promotion and fundraising, even making a GoFundMe page for the school, but in the meantime and while preparing for the worst, Father reassured the families that if they choose to enroll their children into another local Catholic School the option will be made as simple as possible; St. Gregory has already approved the enrollment of any families who wish to transfer to their classrooms.

Updates to follow.

6 Comments on "Holy Redeemer Catholic School to Close: “Schools Are Now a Business”"

  1. First of all, fund raising is not the issue. We fund raise well into the six figures every year. The real issue is enrollment and the lack of young people who wish to give their children a private, religious education. Fund raising was never the issue.

    • EllwoodCity.org Staff | March 1, 2017 at 8:43 am | Reply

      You must have misunderstood the text, fund raising was not meant to mean “selling cookies” or having bake sales, etc, it was meant in terms of if there are not enough children attending there will not be enough funds raised to sustain the school.

  2. Diane Groblewski | February 28, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Reply

    Most importantly, a successful marketing campaign, along with fundraising (which has always been remarkable!) could solve the enrollment issue. There are many dedicated parents and parishioners who are passionate in their commitment to Holy Redeemer School. This is a faith based school that welcomes the entire community. No stone should be left unturned in efforts to sustain this school.

  3. Local Area Resident | March 1, 2017 at 7:26 am | Reply

    > Father Mark stated that the only thing that has gotten the school through the past few semesters was a generous donation from someone who had passed

    Sounds about right. In a few years, the church will see the same fate; the key is to get funding from lots of not-so-rich people instead of a few high net worth folks. But who wants to deal with the hoi polloi?

    The buildings are in a good location, they’ll be sold to a connected person in the parish and then developed into something better. Maybe we’ll even get a Sheetz!

  4. Outside observer | March 1, 2017 at 11:36 pm | Reply

    If Catholic education is so important to the school why does it only go up to 6th grade. If these families were serious about a Catholic education they would send their children to Catholic high schools, but they don’t.

  5. a mom from holy redeemer | March 2, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Reply

    I’m not even catholic and I send my children there. You don’t understand the loss we are all feeling right because we are all like a big family. The closeness and friendships all of these children share from preschool to the 6th grade is remarkable. I have never in my life met a better group of kids. Caring, considerate, polite, helpful, encouraging of one another. I will take away from this school many memories. I only wish that our administration would have been more aggressive in trying to save our school instead of sitting back and waiting for more enrollment and had encouraged and allowed our ideas to promote the school. It will be a loss to the community and the young children. Faith is such an important part of life. Taking away a local faith based education can do nothing good in a child’s life.

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