After at least a decade of falling enrollment, Guardian Angels Catholic School is closing at the end of this school year, according to a statement on its website.
The West Second Street K-8 school continues to face financial challenges and hasn’t successfully raised enough funds by capital campaigns. The history of Catholic education at Guardian Angels goes back as early as 1869, according to "Chaska: A Minnesota River City, Prehistory to 1950."
The parish said it will offer up to $3,000 for current students transferring to other Catholic schools through their eighth grade years.
The statement said 20 years ago, 300 students attended GA. Now, enrollment is at 64.
“This decline in enrollment has been steady and many efforts to reverse it have failed, despite the lowest Catholic school tuition in this part of the metro area,” it stated. “It is not sustainable to operate the school with current low levels of enrollment, which have resulted in continued deficit spending.”
Without that money, the school can’t make necessary building repairs or employ all parish staff.
GA staff are meeting individually with families to answer questions and connect them with a new school, and school staff are “being offered resources for support” according to the statement.
In the future, GA may consider establishing a regional Catholic school in partnership with other parishes, it said.
“The closure of Guardian Angels Catholic School does not mean the end of Catholic school education for local families,” the website read. “We look forward to new ways that Guardian Angels parish can serve those in our parish community through ministries that meet the needs of individuals and families now and into the future.”