March 22, 2013

Holy Name School to close in June

AUSABLE FORKS — The 100th graduating class of Holy Name School here will be its last.

The Catholic school, which serves pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, will close in June after a century of educating area children.

“Financially, we just can’t do it,” Principal Christine Reynolds said Thursday, citing declining enrollment as a major factor. 

Ten employees, including the principal and seven teachers, will lose their jobs.

At a meeting Thursday night, she broke the news to the families of the school’s 56 students; letters explaining the decision were expected to arrive in mailboxes today.


“It shouldn’t come as a big surprise,” Reynolds said Thursday. “We’ve been discussing it the last three years.

“And if (parents) have been reading their newsletters, coming to Education Council meetings — we review the finances at that time.”

In fact, when Reynolds was hired as principal three years ago, she was told it was possible the school might remain open for just a year longer then.

“I took the job with the hopes that together we would be able to keep this little school going,” she wrote in her letter to the parents. “We kept the school going for three years!”

$50,000 LOAN

Families and the community at large were invited to a session held last October at Holy Name Church, where officials announced the parish might have to borrow money to keep the school open.

That came to pass, Reynolds said — a $50,000 loan from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg has been keeping the parochial school afloat.

But it isn’t enough.

The school’s budget for 2012-13 is about $350,000. 

A third of that, Reynolds said, comes from fundraisers the school puts on throughout the year, including the popular Labor Day festivities that draw in people from around the area.

“We’ve been doing them and doing them and doing them,” she said of numerous events. “But when you have to raise that much money, that’s quite a bit.”

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