Families whose children attend St. Christopher School in Midlothian, which was one of the six schools the archdiocese announced it was closing last week, are reaching out to neighboring communities for ways keep the school open. St. Christopher Parish was informed of the decision to close the school at a meeting Thursday.
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The St. Christopher Finance Council, which "is spearheading the cause to save St. Christopher School," according to the school's Facebook page, will be meeting at 7 p.m. at St. Christopher Church in Midlothian to discuss ideas. A Help Save St. Christopher School Facebook page also has been set up for parents, alumni and friends of the school. There's even a PayPal account where people can donate to keep St. Christopher's doors open.
According to the page, the school, which currently enrolls 217 students, has a $175,000 deficit this year and is projecting a $200,000 shortfall next year. St. Christopher School has 20 days to raise $300,000 in an effort for the archdiocese to reconsider its decision.
If the school is closed, some of those displaced students could wind up at St. Damian School in Oak Forest. It's one of a handful of Catholic schools—along with Incarnation School in Palos Heights, and St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Linus schools in Oak Lawn—that the archdiocese is offering as alternatives for families wanting to continue a Catholic education, according to Cathy Casper, whose son attends St. Christopher. Students also would receive a $1,000 tuition voucher to attend these schools, she added.
"Considering tuition costs are over $4,000 per year, not including book fees, athletic costs, uniforms, parish donations, new parish fees, and extra fuel costs for the additional driving time, although generous, it's not enough," Casper wrote in an email to Patch.