Parents of students at a Catholic elementary school in Rockland, Massachusetts learned this week that Holy Family will shut down at the end of the school year in June.
“Disappointed,” said a tearful Therese Bethoney, a school parent. “Our dream was for our child to finish school here and graduate in 8th grade.”
They gathered Wednesday evening for answers.
“I just feel at this late date it’s just left us all hopeless,” said parent Lisa Franco, who has two children at the school
In a letter to parents, the pastor called it a “sad announcement” and one that comes in the midst of a severe financial hardship.
“I heard that the school was closing and it kind of broke my heart a little bit because I really love this school,” said third-grade student Izabelly Souza.
Plummeting enrollment is the main factor in the decision.
There’s just not enough tuition money coming in.
The school is facing about a $350,000 deficit.
There were about 460 students at the school a decade ago.
This year there were just 148.
And projected enrollment for next year is only about 100, a roughly 33 percent tumble in just one school year.
“We’ve had the privilege of being a part of this great school and we’re going to miss it terribly,” said Bethoney.
Parents say they wish they had more notice as they are now left to find new schools when many deadlines have already passed.
“It’s going to be very challenging because everyone’s competing for spots,” said parent Chris Franco.