HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 180 years, a small Catholic school in Windward Oahu is closing its doors to students.
Leaders of St. Ann’s said declining enrollment and rising financial challenges led them to close the school at the end of the academic year on June 4. They announced the closure in a letter to families Friday.
“It was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision. We had faced at least 10 years of declining enrollment, and because of declining enrollment you have declining income. And expenses were higher than our income,” Pastor of St. Ann’s Father Richard McNally said.
“We just had to make the decision sooner or later, I believe,” he said.
About 11 years ago, Father McNally said there were about 390 students in grades K-8. This year, the school is down to just 71 students, with less than 37 students in the Early Learning Center.
“It’s just a very sad thing that St. Ann’s School is closing after 180 years. It was founded with our parish and the fact that it’s closing is very very sad,” Father McNally added.
He added that the Diocese will facilitate relocating their handful of employees to other Catholic schools if openings are available. He also encouraged families of students to continue private education on Oahu’s Windward side.
St. Ann’s is the latest private faith-based school to shudder under economic constraints. Last year, St. John the Baptist in Kalihi also shut their doors, along with several others.