Saint Francis School, founded in 1924, will shut down entirely at the end of the academic year, due to financial woes, officials announced today.
“This is very sad for all of us and it has been the most heart-wrenching weeks and months of planning,” said Sister Barbara Jean Donovan, general minister of the Sisters of Saint Francis of the Neumann Communities, of Syracuse, N.Y., which sponsors the school. “Simply put, there is not enough money to continue.”
The administration had announced Jan. 7 that the middle and upper school would cease operations in May, and that the elementary division might also close if enrollment targets were not met.
Donovan announced the decision to close the elementary school at a meeting this afternoon of staff, parents, alumni and others at the Manoa campus that was livestreamed to the school community.
“Based on the enrollment that we have received so far, it’s apparent that the elementary school cannot be viable next year,” Donovan said in a statement. “And we believe that it is important to make this announcement early so that families have the opportunity to plan for the future.”
Donovan said that the Sisters have been subsidizing the school for the last several years and can no longer afford to do so. The school has 442 students in preschool through 12th grade.
Originally a girls’ school, Saint Francis went coed in 2006. It is known for offering an affordable Catholic education, a family-style atmosphere and a strong sports program.