Officials with the Catholic Diocese in Des Moines will close a Catholic grade school in western Iowa unless the school’s supporters can raise $400,000. Sheila Murphy represents a group that is trying to keep St. Patrick’s Catholic grade school open.
"Parents, supporters of this school, members of the community that see the benefits of this school in the long range so they are also looking at some strategies to keep enrollment up and to keep bringing income coming into the school," she says. Murphy says the 48 students who’re currently enrolled at St. Patrick’s are very concerned.
"They love their school. They love their teachers," Murphy says. "It is a small school but they strive to have an excellent curriculum there and to have a lot of individual attention to the students." The school means a lot to Missouri Valley, according to Murphy.
"It would be terrible to lose it for the kids," she says. "…To have that empty building that couldn’t survive wouldn’t add anything beneficial to the town either." In addition to the money, Catholic officials in Des Moines say there must be at least 48 students registered for the next school year at St. Patrick’s in Missouri Valley or it’ll be closed. St. Patrick’s was established 92 years ago and is the only Catholic grade school in Harrison County. It offers preschool as well as kindergarten through eighth grade classes.