A little more than a week after parents were notified that Our Lady of Peace Catholic School middle school was closing at the end of this school year, the decision was reversed – thanks to those who advocated for and made a proposal to keep the school open.
“Keeping our middle school open is wonderful news for our students and our parents,” said Our Lady of Peace pastor Father Jacob Joseph in a news release dated Feb. 3.
“Our school’s mission is to provide a comprehensive educational program for the complete development of our students in a Christian environment. We can now confirm that we will continue to fulfill that mission not only to our elementary students but to our sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.”
The original decision to close the middle school was made for financial reasons, according to the release.
Although shocked, the decision didn’t discourage parents and other supporters from coming up with ways to change the outlook for the middle school, said parent Katy Slagle.
“The bottom line is that those of us who know what a treasure it is are willing to work very hard to preserve it,” said Slagle, who is also an alumnus of the school.
She, along with parents Des and Bridgette Kayea, worked together to lead the parent effort by meeting together, hosting a parent meeting and meeting with parish officials to find out what could be done.
They wanted to do more than just save the middle school, said Des Kayea, adding that they wanted to help “reverse the decision and take the school beyond”.
On Feb. 3, Diocese of Charleston officials reviewed and approved the plan to keep the middle school open.
“With this new plan, we will continue to provide middle school students the strong academic program and quality Catholic education we are known for in the North Augusta community,” stated Joseph in the release.
Details of the proposal weren’t shared, but moving forward, they plan to get the community more involved and promote the school and what makes it a treasured part of the community, said Des Kayea.
“Make it known that it’s viable and it has good teachers,” he said of the school.
Upcoming school fundraisers: Mardi Gras Silent Auction in March and Strawberry Festival in April. For details, call the school at (803) 279–8396 ext. 100.