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Parents and alumni celebrate plan for Rosati-Kain School to remain open

It was announced the all-girls Rosati-Kain High School would be closing at the end of the school year on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in the Central West End.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
Leaders of Rosati-Kain Academy signed a multi-year lease with the Archdiocese of St. Louis to keep the school in the Central West End. The academy will now be sponsored by St. Joseph Educational Ministries.

Rosati-Kain High School parents and alumni are celebrating a deal that will allow the all-girls Catholic high school that the Archdiocese of St. Louis decided to close to remain open independent of the Archdiocese.

Under the deal, it will become a new school, Rosati-Kain Academy, which will open July 1. School leaders signed a multi-year lease with the archdiocese that will keep the school on the same Lindell Boulevard site. The academy will now be sponsored by St. Joseph Educational Ministries, founded by Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Going independent, signing the lease agreement and gaining the sponsorship are the first steps in securing the school’s future, said Cynthia Forcelledo Goudy, chair of Rosati-Kain Forever, a non-profit formed to save the school.

“We're able to move forward, it's taken a ton of work,” Goudy said. “The alums came together, women wanting to make a difference for this new school.”

Goudy said St. Joseph Educational Ministries was able to expedite the sponsorship process which can sometimes take a year. Academy leaders plan to announce more details about the school’s next steps in January.

Decisions to close the school along with the all-boys St. Mary’s High School on Grand Boulevard were spurred by declining enrollment, Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski said in September. Rosati-Kain enrollment dropped from 248 to 188 students over the past two school years.

The archdiocese is pleased St. Joseph Educational Ministries approved Rosati-Kain’s request to stay open, Todd Sweda, superintendent for secondary education and senior director of the archdiocese's Office of Catholic Education and Formation said in a statement.

Efforts to keep St. Mary’s running were also successful, it will be sponsored by the Marianist Province of the United States. The closures, part of the archdiocese's All Things New plan, were aimed at consolidating and restructuring Catholic schools and parishes.

News that the school will remain open excited Rosati-Kain parents. The school was a perfect choice for Jennifer Welsch, Rosati-Kain Academy board member whose daughter is a sophomore at the school.

“She's found this home and the people that she loves at school, it's diverse and it's different than any of the other girls schools in the area,” Welsch said. “Watching her be so sad and thinking about all of the things that she was going to miss out on top of having to find a new school. It was really hard.”

Goudy said along with curriculum curation, the school’s next steps will focus on fundraising, forming a school board and staffing the administration.

“We would love the current teachers to continue their relationship with our new school,” Goudy said. “Those are the types of things we're looking for in the future and we're excited to move forward.”

Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.