The St. Clare Catholic School will officially close at the end of the school year.
Father Eric Kunz, pastor of St. Clare Catholic Parish, sent a recommendation to close the school at the end of the 2017-18 year to Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.
The director of communications for the Archdiocese, Elizabeth Westhoff, told The Missourian that the request was approved and that the school will close. She added that Father Kunz has spoken to parents and is working on the transfer of the school’s current 38 students to other area Catholic schools.
The closure is “moving forward without incident,” Westhoff said. The last day of school is Monday, May 21.
The following is the original press release from the Archdiocese:
“The decision to make the recommendation was reached in order to ensure the parish is a good steward of its limited resources.
“Father Kunz had extensive discussions with the Catholic Education Office and other departments of the Archdiocese of St. Louis before making the recommendation.”
In a letter to the parish, Father Kunz expressed sadness that the parish will “have to close this chapter of our story,” but he reminded parishioners that they “are being called by Christ and challenged to pull together as a parish family,” and “that while our mission is changing, it isn’t ending.”
The parish was founded in 1857 and the school began in 1941. In 1958, the school saw its peak enrollment at 140 students. Enrollment has been below 100 since the early 1980s.
Except for one year since the 2010-11 academic year, enrollment has been below 70.