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St. Andrew's School

On March 23, 2018, the St. Andrew's Episcopal School Board sent the following letter to all families with children enrolled in the school for next year:

Dear Parents, Faculty, Staff and Friends,
It is with an extremely heavy heart that we are reaching out to you about recent developments regarding our enrollment and financial sustainability challenges. The Board, School and Church have been diligently working to resolve the obstacles we face. We identified new initiatives last fall, hired an advancement consultant, traveled near and far to learn about the successes of other schools, changed the look of our annual fund campaign, and took to heart the meaningful responses from our successful accreditation visit.
In spite of our valiant efforts, it has become clear to us that the School is unable to meet the financial obligations necessary to fulfill our mission. Therefore, on Thursday, March 22, 2018, after much prayerful deliberation, the School Board reluctantly voted to cease student operations on June 8, 2018 and to cease all business operations on August 31, 2018. The vote was unanimous.

A number of parishioners have been asking what’s next, now that St. Andrew’s Episcopal School as we have known it is closing.  That is an excellent and appropriate question, one that the vestry and I take very seriously.  The answer has two parts to it:  one for the time between now and the last day of school, which is June 8th; and one for the following days and weeks and months.

For now:  The vestry’s primary concern at the moment is caring well for everyone affected by the closing of the school.  There is a lot of work to be done in terms of attending to the pastoral needs of children, families, faculty, and staff, in addition to the pragmatic, nuts-and-bolts tasks involved in closing a school.  As a vestry, we are focusing on that important work through the end of the school year.

For the near future:  In our upcoming meetings, the vestry will work on creating a discernment process to engage parishioners and community members in determining what mission God has in mind for St. Andrew’s.  We expect to begin implementing that discernment process sometime this summer. Some of the many questions we as a parish will need to address together are:  As people of faith, people with good news to share, how can we best serve the children and adults of our community now and in years to come?  What unmet needs are there in our community, and how might we partner with community members to meet those needs?  What are we uniquely positioned to do in this place, in this time, in God’s name?  How can the gifts and skills developed and nurtured through our ministry with the school over the past 71 years be put to good use in the next 71 years?

In our Christian story, sad endings are followed by new beginnings.  Even death doesn’t have the last word.  Right now we are in mourning as our beloved school closes.  But our story, and our ministry, doesn’t end here.  We are Easter people, and we look expectantly to the future that God already is holding in his hand.

Iinvite you to join the vestry and me in providing pastoral support to the school community in the coming weeks; and in discerning our next steps through the process we’ll start this summer.