St. Raphael’s School, Long Island City, will close at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, due to declining enrollment and escalating costs.
In a Jan. 20 letter to parents, Father Jerry Jecewiz, pastor, explained, “We had agreed to a specific goal, strictly time-bound to last September, to raise the 160 students enrollment to 200. We needed to do so in order to combat the school deficit of $150,000 in the last fiscal year – a six-fold increase from the year before – and the projected deficit, which is fast approaching $200,000 in this present fiscal year.”
Announcements will be made in the coming days for transitional assistance to neighboring Catholic elementary schools.
“Our hearts go out to all those impacted,” Father Jecewiz said. “With this announcement, we all begin a process of grief… Let us all pray for grace, that the Spirit may guide us through and beyond these challenging days.”