CLARK – The efforts of a group of concerned parents may be enough to keep St. Agnes School open after all.
Faced with declining revenues caused by a drop in enrollment, the local parish announced plans to close the kindergarten through eighth grade school at the end of the current school year.
Parents protested the decision to the Archdiocese of Newark, and got good news earlier this month. The St. Agnes Parish pastor, Dennis Cohan, told parents that the school could remain open if it reached a target enrollment of 150 students for next year.
The school’s current enrollment is 132 students, with just six in the graduating eighth grade class according to St. Agnes Home School Association President Kim Broadwell. She said the committee had 146 commitment letters from parents to show the Archdiocese in support of the appeal, but wasn’t sure of the number of students currently registered for next year. The school office was closed today because of the weather conditions.
Parents are heavily marketing the school, she said, with open house events on Wednesday nights for each of the next four weeks. Broadwell said the school has a lot to offer, including a large, recently constructed wing and seven new high-tech “SMART boards,” which are interactive, electronic whiteboards. Next year, the school should also have a new gymnasium, which is scheduled to be built this summer, she said.
Parents are also doing fundraising and have raised approximately $55,000 for a “Save St. Agnes School, Inc.” trust fund. The St. Agnes Save Our School Committee will hold a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the school, located at 342 Madison Hill Road in Clark. Tickets will be sold at the door and are $10 per person; children ages 5-12 get a $5 reduced rate and children under 5 get in free. There will be live Italian music.
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