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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

St. John the Baptist High School to close!

Today was not a good day.

Hearing this news is worse.

According to my parents, who attended a public meeting with pastor Fr. Edward Rice, St. John the Baptist High School will close. My mother said that the school simply can't pay the bills--and a declining enrollment doesn't help!

In a city where public education has been hopelessly starved and has atrophied, often these parochial schools are a last resort for families. These are families who can't afford housing elsewhere, who need public transportation, who have family ties to a neighborhood, or who simply prefer urban living.

I sort of thought this was inevitable, but that I expected it sooner or later doesn't soften the blow. This will be terrible for Bevo and greater South City as well.

It also places the future of the delightful church and its attendant campus (including the elementary school, my alma mater) in the "uncertain" category.

May there somehow be a last minute intervention! I wish. The school will not reopen for next school year in September.

I couldn't find a decent shot of the High School. Here is a picture of the Church and Rectory:

UPDATE (10:58p): Apparently, the decision will be made in the next 48 hours. It was communicated to the community that the chances are grim, however.


Rick Bonasch said...

What about the elementary school? Students from Holy Family were reassigned to St. John's.

Matt M. said...

The folks said that the elementary school is to remain open. I'm worried about it too, though.

Josh said...

You might want to change your link to St. John's - we're not the Cougars and don't have a football field. ;)

It is a sad development. I will miss St. John's - I was looking forward to moving back to St. Louis some day.

How is it that enrollment declined so drastically in such a short amount of time? >450 ten years ago and <200 now - that doesn't make sense? Where is the public accountability in finances or enrollment efforts? Some of the blame must fall on the shoulders of the archdiocese and non-transparent, institutional structure of how the school was managed. Just my two cents.

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