Future Of Northeast Iowa Catholic School Uncertain
A Northeast Iowa Parochial school, struggling with decreasing enrollment and fewer funds, is now seeking donations from the public to help keep it's doors open for the children.
Sacred Heart Elementary School in Oelwein faces the possibility of closing it's doors for good, unless funds for maintaining operations can be raised.
Members of the community have gone so far as to establish a "GO FUND ME" page on the internet, an idea from 2 Sacred Heart students who do not want the school to close. The effort is being called "Save Oelwein Sacred Heart", or "SOS" tagged with a heart.
The goal is a lofty one: to raise $100,000. So far, the site has received about $1,000 in donations.
The Catholic school has sent out letters to the parents of the kids, in Kindergarten through 6th grade. There are only 54 students in the entire elementary, with another 21 in Sacred Heart's 3-4 year old program. That figure is about half of the attendance in 2010.
The school has also had to hire teachers over the years, instead of relying on the Catholic Sisters to instruct, as in the past.
One option is to cut the 6th grade, and have those students attend public school.
At one point, the 115 year old Sacred Heart also had a high school, but that ended in 1972.
Money raised will go toward maintenance and a campaign to increase enrollment.