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St. Peter School dealing with drop in its enrollment

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 10:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 22, 2014 9:12 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – Declining enrollment is forcing St. Peter School in Geneva to make changes in its program.

The private school at 1881 Kaneville Road, Geneva, is part of St. Peter Catholic Church. In a letter to school parents on May 9, the Rev. Martins Emeh of St. Peter Catholic Church stated the school’s enrollment for the next school year stands at 200 children.

“What this means is that, in most grades, we do not have enough students to fill one classroom,” Emeh wrote. “At 29, eighth grade is the grade with the highest number of registered students.”

The church budgeted for 375 students for the next school year, Emeh wrote.

“The budget actually contains a deficit of $191,626,” he wrote. “This is in spite of the annual parish subsidy, which is estimated at $328,780 for the coming year.”

Because of the situation, Emeh said in the letter that he has asked St. Peter School Principal Marie Neis to resign effective June 4, the last day of the current school year before summer break.

Assistant Principal Larry Johnson will serve as acting principal during the transition, Emeh wrote.

Church and school officials could not be reached for comment.

The school plans to address the issue during a parent information meeting at 7 p.m. today in the school gym.

With the school’s current enrollment at 200 students for the 2014-15 school year, Emeh said in the letter the school is down by 175 students, a loss of roughly $700,000.

“The trend is unsustainable,” Emeh wrote. “And, it would be a lack of fiduciary responsibility on my part to engage a loan in the name of the parish, to pay teachers for empty classrooms.”

To deal with the declining enrollment, Emeh wrote that starting this fall, the school will have one classroom of each grade.

“We will continue to accept student registrations until each class limit is reached, after which students wishing to register will be placed on a waiting list,” he wrote. “When enough student registrations for a second classroom have been received, a second class for that grade will be activated, and a teacher will be rehired.”

St. Peter School serves preschool through eighth grade.

If you go

St. Peter School, 1881 Kaneville Road, Geneva, will address the issue of the school’s declining enrollment during a parent information meeting at 7 p.m. today in the school gym.

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