May 20, 2009
Dear Gateway Parents:
I would have hoped to tell you this at tonight's meeting, but as many of you already know, we have come to the difficult decision to close Gateway Academy High School. And I also want to stress that this decision does not impact our Pre-K through 8 program, which will open as usual in the fall.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of the Gateway Academy community, for all you are doing and what you have done, to build this school. Gateway is far more than an academic institution. It is a gift from God that gives all of us the opportunity to know and love him more and to sanctify our lives.
Gateway was started by some of our outstanding parents with the goal of making Catholic education affordable for all. The school has been extremely successful in many ways, blessed by so many wonderful, generous families-parents, students, staff, faculty, and benefactors.
As you know, each year we have operated at a deficit. Our benefactors have generously assisted Gateway Academy by covering the deficit. But in the current economic environment, it is a lot to expect the same generous level of support from our benefactors. It became clear earlier this year that we needed to seek out a way to continue to fulfill our mission and to do so in a financially responsible and sustainable manner.
We have had to look at many possibilities. We have invited other sources to provide reviews of our school, both internally and externally, including the recent accreditation visit. We retained Catholic Schools Management to concretely identify ways and means to advance our school.
As recently as this past March we intended on fully financially supporting the school. The School Board and administration have worked hard to improve the situation, but the financial recession has intensified the problem. In particular, past subsidies from the Legion are simply not going to be available in the foreseeable future.
Hence, we have had make some very difficult decisions to make in order to achieve financial stability. The existing financial state of Gateway Academy, the current economic conditions, and the extensive competition of the High school market here in the St. Louis area have all contributed to the conclusion that we can no longer operate in the same manner.
After much study, deliberation and prayer the Board of Directors arrived at the very difficult decision that we will have to close Gateway Academy High school. We are deeply saddened by this and for our school community. But we believe it is the responsible thing for us to do at this point.
From a practical standpoint, high school third-quarter transcripts will be available by Friday, May 22. And final transcripts should be available around June 3. Pre-paid tuition and fees for high school students will be refunded.
I know that this decision is especially hard on the students who would be incoming seniors in the fall. Therefore, we want to work with the families of those students and if there are at least 10 who are interested, we will offer a senior program to them so they can graduate from Gateway as anticipated.
If you have questions, please contact my office and we will do all we can to assist you. And please keep everyone in the Gateway family in your prayers.
Camille Paglia Interviewed by "America"
8 hours ago