Gateway Academy in Chesterfield to close its high school
Gateway Academy, a private Catholic school in Chesterfield for preschoolers through twelfth grade, will close its high school in the fall.
Administrators met with parents Wednesday night to tell them the news. They told parents there weren’t enough students to sustain the high school and they could balance the budget with only the grade school open, said parent Anastasia Rothkopf.
“It’s a wonderful school, and we’re really sad, but the reality is the economy is not great,” she said. “People have lost their jobs, and now we’re scrambling for a high school.”
Gateway opened in 1991 to 56 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. By 1996, the school went up to twelfth grade. The school has more than 400 students, and the school would have enrolled 60 students in the high school next year.
The school employs 21 high school teachers, but it is unclear how many of them will lose their jobs. Gateway officials said they would issue a statement about the closing later today.
Tuition for seventh through twelfth grade is $9,700.
Two of the Rothkopf’s seven children graduated from the school, and two attend currently. Their son, Benjamin, would have entered his freshman year at Gateway. Now, it looks like he will attend Marquette High school in the Rockwood School District. The Rothkopfs will also pull their second grader, Lydia, from Gateway and enroll her in Rockwood schools, mainly because she has health issues and the public school district can better serve her, they said.
“It’s like there’s been a death in the family, everybody is just saddened by it,” Rothkopf said. “The school was just more than a school, it was a community, like most Catholic schools are.”
The school was started by a group of people in the Regnum Christi movement, an apostolic movement in the Catholic church. The group patterned their school after schools started in Mexico by the Legionnaires of Christ, a religious order. Gateway teaches the Catholic faith but is not affiliated with any parish nor with the archdiocese.
— prior gateway parent 7:09 am May 24th, 2009