School makes plan

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, March 19, 2008

NATCHEZ — On Tuesday, members of the Holy Family Catholic School Parent Teacher Association gathered in the school’s cafeteria to discuss the school’s uncertain future.

On March 4, the diocese announced plans to close the school.

Since then parents from the school have been searching for ways to keep the school open.

Email newsletter signup

President of the PTA Barney Schoby Jr. said the school is in the process reworking a budget to keep the school open.

While the school officials have yet to develop a budget to submit to the diocese, they do know changes will be needed to keep the school afloat.

Wilbur Johnson, chairman of the parish finance committee said the school’s tuition will have to be raised by at least $1,000 for the upcoming school year to keep the school operational.

Wilbur also said budgetary projections show a need for increased enrollment.

The school will likely need at least 20 students per class for grades one — four.

The purpose of the meeting was to gain an understanding from parents who are committed to sending their children back to Holy Family for the upcoming school year.

Johnson said the school must know how many children are committed to attend before an accurate budget can be drafted and submitted to the diocese in Jackson.

Once the budget is drafted it must still be submitted and approved by the diocese.

Johnson said while they have no firm date to complete a tentative budget, he hopes to have one completed as soon as possible.

Schoby said before the budget is submitted he hopes the school will be able to pay a debt of approximately $72,000 to the diocese.

Schoby said the debt was acquired over several years each time the diocese had to financially contribute to the school.

While few parents at Tuesday’s meeting appeared excited by an almost guaranteed tuition hike, a show of hands indicated many were willing to support one.

Principal Rosa Demby said the newly projected tuition figures were a necessity.

“It’s meat and potatoes time,” she said. “The gravy is gone.”

Schoby implored parents to make the changes necessary to keep Holy Family open.

“Sacrifices will have to be made,” he said.

Cadonna Dent’s son attends Holy Family.

She said she would pay the extra tuition if it meant keeping the school open.

“The school and the teachers are just awesome,” she said. “They do a great job.”