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.