Red Lake Falls School To CloseAnother Minnesota school is being forced to close. But this time its not a public school and it has nothing to do with the state cutbacks. St. Joseph's elementary school in Red Lake Falls is facing its own issues that will close its doors at the end of this school year.
Another Minnesota school is being forced to close. But this time its not a public school and it has nothing to do with the state cutbacks. St. Joseph's elementary school in Red Lake Falls is facing its own issues that will close its doors at the end of this school year.
For 29 kids and 6 teachers here at St Joseph's elementary school in Red Lake Falls, these are the last days they'll walk these halls. The private school is closing its doors and these kids will have to find another school and the teachers will be out of work.
Heidi Determan: "It's sad I was more devastated for the kids what their reaction would be I know I would be ok but I wasn't too upset I know I'll find a job."
The schools future began unraveling a few years back when enrollment started to drop.
Father Chuck Huck: "In 06-07 we had 50-students, in the next year we dropped to 37 to 30 and now 20."
The 9 pre-schoolers make it 29 total. The school set three parameters to meet in order to stay open and they fell short.
Father Chuck Huck: "We wanted 30 students in the school, use no more than 60-percent of church collections, and we want good parental involvement."
Huck says they would've used 63-percent of church donations to keep the school open and it wasn't an option with the diocese only recommending they use 50-percent. Because of dropping enrollment tuition didn't make up the difference.
When the school closes next fall the parents of the 29-kids who go here will have two choices, they can either send their kids to another catholic school in a surrounding town like Thief River Falls, or they can put them in the public school system.
Chuck Huck: "We're part of the fabric of the community and when something closes it makes the town a little smaller and we don't want to do that."
Heidi Determan: "I plan to sub put my application in I might stay at home and just take some time off."
Making the closing all the more difficult: the school has been a part of red Lake Falls for 108-years.
The school says they met their fundraising goals of 57-thousand dollars for this year but it was a struggle.