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Catholic school in Hawaii will close after 180 years

Jan. 25, 2021
St. Ann's School has seen its enrollment plummet to less than 75 students.

After 180 years, a small Catholic school in Hawaii is closing its doors to students.

Hawaii News Now reports that leaders of St. Ann’s school point to declining enrollment and rising financial challenges as the main reasons to close the school at the end of the academic year on June 4.

“It was a very difficult decision, but it was the right decision," says Father Richard McNally, pastor of St. Ann’s. "We had faced at least 10 years of declining enrollment, and because of declining enrollment you have declining income. And expenses were higher than our income,”

About 11 years ago, St. Ann's had about 390 students in grades K-8. This year, the school is down to just 71 students. It is situated in Kaneohe, in the Windward Oahu side of the Honolulu area.

“It’s just a very sad thing that St. Ann’s School is closing after 180 years," Father McNally says. "It was founded with our parish, and the fact that it’s closing is very very sad.”

The Diocese will facilitate relocating employees to other Catholic schools if openings are available. He also encouraged families of students to continue private education on Oahu’s Windward side.

St. Ann’s is the latest private faith-based school to shudder under economic constraints. Last year, St. John the Baptist in Honlulu also shut its doors, along with several others.

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