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Holy Angels Parents Have Unanswered Questions

6:43 PM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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Wednesday night, Holy Angels Academy held two parent meetings to answer questions families have about the school's closure.

Holy Angels announced Tuesday that it will close its doors at the end of this school year due to a lack of funds.

Channel 2 heard a lot of anger and frustration from parents and students as they left the meetings Wednesday night. The media was not allowed inside the meetings, and when we asked a Holy Angels board member if we could find out what happened, she said she didn't want to talk to us.

So, we talked with parents and students as they came out of the first meeting, which was for parents of juniors. They wanted to know how much money it would take to keep the school open for at least one more year so their daughters can graduate. We already know the nuns put up $1 million in retirement funds as a line of credit to keep the school open, but the situation is so dire that wasn't enough.
One mother and daughter we talked with told us administrators told them that it would have taken an additional $600,000 to keep the school open for one more year.
"They knew this, she said, four years ago. Five years ago that they were in trouble and nothing was said until now. Until one month before the end of school. So, it's not a lot of faith in what they're doing," said one mother.
"It was like sad seeing everyone's face. Like literally we were just in shock at first and everybody's holding their friends not wanting to let them go because we can't graduate with the people that we've spent three years on. Like three years for what? Nothing? To graduate with people that I don't even know," said junior Chelsea Cox.
Chelsea doesn't know where she will go to school next year. Current students and their families are reaching out to alumni to try to come up with the money. And, parents told us there is going to be a follow-up meeting to go over the finances. They are doubtful they will get answers though.

We also talked with a dad as he was leaving, and he says he's disgusted with the whole situation.

"Basically, the board tried to tell us that due to a lack of enrollment for the upcoming year, was the shortfall in the numbers. Which only added up to 25 to 30 enrollments and we're going to shut down the school based on that. Then, after being further challenged they said that they've been in a deficit for five years, but they haven't told any of the parents this. They never came to us to make a capital fund, fundraising event. They haven't told any of this to anybody," said Michael Haen.

"Did they tell you how much money they needed to keep the school open?" asked Kelly Dudzik.

"No, they could never really give us a definitive number. They said that they ran into a $400,000 deficit last year, and that it would take well over $1 million to keep the school open," he said.

Parents also asked about just letting the juniors finish out their senior year and were told, according to Haen, that reducing the number of grades at the school would cost even more money. Bottom line, parents are still looking for answers and they still have some tough decisions to make in terms of where their daughters will go to school next year. Other private schools are an option, public schools also an option.

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