St. Edward Catholic School, serving pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in Little Rock, will close at the end of the school year.
After consultation with Bishop Anthony B. Taylor and Theresa Hall, superintendent of Catholic schools, pastor Father Juan Manjarrez announced the decision to close the school effective May 29. The news was shared with the staff, parents and parishioners Feb. 27.
A report was provided to the pastoral and finance councils and the school board regarding pre-enrollment numbers for the 2019-2020 school year and the forecasted financial needs of the school. Father Manjarrez expressed to the parents and parishioners that keeping the school open would place an impossible financial burden on the parish and that the parish does not have the financial resources needed to offset financial shortfalls.
In May 2018, a town hall meeting was held in which information was shared with the school community concerning the financial shortfall for the 2017-2018 school year. Following this meeting, there was an outpouring of support for the school. This support sustained the school’s operation through the current school year.
Hall said the generosity and commitment of the school faculty, staff, parents, volunteers, donors and the St. Edward’s extended community has been commendable. Hall and her staff have been providing leadership at the school for this school year while the school has operated without a principal.
St. Edward School was founded in 1885 to provide for the needs of the German Catholic families. The Benedictine sisters educated thousands of students in the area until 1992 when the last two sisters returned to St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith. St. Edward School is the longest running elementary/middle school in Little Rock.
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