FRESNO, California (KGPE) — The doors seem to be shutting for good at Our Lady Victory Catholic School in Fresno.
The Diocese says this decision is coming after years of poor enrollment.
They released a statement explaining why they are shutting their doors.
“It is with a heavy heart that the Office of Catholic Education announces the closing of Our Lady of Victory School at the end of the current school year. For 67 years, OLV families and parishioners have worked tirelessly to provide and support an excellent Catholic education to the many students who have walked through the doors of this school. The decision to close the school was made after much prayer, consultation and in agreement with Bishop Brennan, Diocesan Bishop, Father Jesus Del Angel, Pastor, the Office of Catholic Education, the Diocesan Advisory Board of Education, Mrs. Nettle and the OLV School Board. No one wanted this day to come, but the rising costs of operating a Catholic school along with declining enrollment has left no other choice.The logistics of closing the school will be managed by the Office of Catholic Education after the children have completed their school year and the teachers have left campus. For now, the goal and focus of Mrs. Nettle and her staff along with the faithful parents of Our Lady of Victory is to give the children the best, most memorable final days at their school.”Diocese of Fresno Office of Catholic Education Press Release
Felicitas Carrillo said her 2nd grader goes to the school and she was wanting to send her preschooler there — but now has to rethink that decision.
“It’s very disheartening,” Carrillo said. “We feel like we have been mislead. We weren’t really made aware of the gravity of this situation.”
Carrillo said they heard enrollment was down at the beginning of the year but didn’t know closing the school would happen so fast.
“When you are told in the middle of January and given till March 1st to try and rectify this problem it is not enough time,” Carrillo said.
Carrillo said other parents and children who go to the Catholic school were taken aback by the sudden news.
“The kids they were all crying this morning,” said Carrillo. “They were all in tears especially the older students. Your 6th, 7th, and 5th graders who really understand what’s going on.”
Carrillo said the Catholic School needed 150 students enrolled but had only 120 this year. Since 30 spots were open that equaled a loss of $200,000 for the Catholic Church.
She said they too got a statement from the school explaining why they are shutting their doors.
“We had this issue in the past where we have late enrollment but we always fallen through,” said Carrillo. “It’s not like we owe tons of money or we are in the hole a lot of money. We are 30 students shy of keeping the school open and they are willing to shut down a school for 30 students.”
Breanna Saldate is an Alumni of Our Lady Victory. She said her brother also went there for years.
“I don’t really understand considering the fact that we have been running with 120 kids for quite awhile now,” said Saldate. “It is unfortunate and I believe if we come together as a community or as a school as a whole we are able to make up for the 20 to 30 kids that we lost.”