Local News

Low enrollment numbers force Raleigh private school to close

Posted July 2, 2008 1:08 p.m. EDT
Updated July 2, 2008 8:09 p.m. EDT

— Lower-than-projected enrollment numbers have forced a Raleigh private school to close.

Employees at the Raleigh Latin School, a classical nondenominational Christian private school, were notified Monday that the school would not reopen in the fall.

The school had a forecast of 60 to 65 students at the beginning of June, but by the end of June had 38 families committed with a deposit to enroll, Chris Holley, the school's chairman of the board, said.

With the "de-commitments," Holley said, the school lost $120,000 in anticipated revenue from the operating budget and could not start the school year "in good faith."

Holley said board members were "heartbroken to shut (the school) down because of the "emotional commitment" faculty and families made to the school.

Some families who opted out of a private education chose to go to charter schools, instead, he said.

He said he sees the school as a "victim of the economy because private school is a discretionary expense."

Board members and school leaders will meet at 8 p.m. Wednesday evening with families to explain to them their reasons for closing the school and to present to them their options.

Holley said they could enroll their children in either Trinity Academy in Raleigh or Hopewell Academy in Cary; both schools have agreed to honor tuition contracts, he said.

Holley said, at this point, it is unclear whether parents who paid advanced tuitions and don't want to enroll their children in either of those schools would get their money back.

Those payments went to June's operating expenses, he said, and the school has to settle its debts first.

The school, which enrolled middle- and high-school students opened four years and had 60 students last year. It had the highest average SAT score in Wake County for the 2006-2007 school year.

Tuition was $9,500 per year for high school students, $8,000 per year for middle school students.