It was shocking to learn recently that the Archdiocese of St. Louis has made the decision to close two St. Louis City high schools, St. Mary’s in South City, and the CWE’s Rosati-Kain at Lindell & Newstead, as part of the diocese’ reorganization plan, “All Things New.” Shifting demographics and costs are cited as the reasons.
Faculty and alumni of both schools quickly rallied to figure out how to operate as independent institutions. Neither school seems willing to give up the fight, and Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski has said that he would not stand in the way of efforts to continue operations.
Dr. Elizabeth Goodwin, president of Rosati-Kain, said in a statement: “We had a working meeting with the Archdiocese and have identified a path forward. We are submitting our proposal ASAP to the Archbishop for his review. The administration at the school is focused on the 200 girls currently enrolled and educating them is our mission. The R-K Forever alumni group is focused on Rosati-Kain Academy and getting that established.” The R-K Forever Steering Committee includes Cynthia Goudy (’03), Nikki Martinez (’99) and Marie Casey (’75).
Dr. Goodwin is also in discussion with Archbishop Rozanski about the transfer of assets (facilities, parking lot, furniture, etc.) at a reasonable cost. Historically, the school’s operating costs have relied mostly on tuition and donations, not on funds from the Archdiocese.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones reached out as soon as she heard the news of the proposed closure, and has offered to help in any way the city can to ensure that the 100-year-old school continues to operate.
Over the past week, volunteers have formed working groups to cover all the bases. Kathie Hoyer, who works at Bowood Farms, and her daughter, Lucie, a 2015 graduate of Rosati Kain, have joined the communications committee. Lucie said of her years at R-K that it was “important to go to a small high school where there were so many different girls to get to know, and we were all united into a community of learners.” (In 1947, Rosati-Kain became the first integrated high school in the City of St. Louis.)
A large fundraising effort has launched so the new independent school, Rosati-Kain Academy, can operate for at least 5 years, as Dr. Goodwin anticipates a drop in enrollment following the Archdiocese announcement.
Kathie Hoyer added: “Creating Rosati-Kain Academy is a wonderful opportunity for the CWE and nearby neighborhoods to have a high school for young women of all faiths in the City of St. Louis.”
The photograph above was taken in 2014 of current and future Rosati-Kain students at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new 12,000 s.f., $4.5 million addition on Newstead, which includes technology upgrades and a new expanded chemistry lab and research area. At the time 340 students were enrolled. As mentioned above, the current enrollment has dipped to 200. Clearly, this is going to be a huge challenge, but with this group of determined women behind the effort, we are hopeful they will succeed.
Everyone is invited to an Open House at Rosati-Kain, 4389 Lindell, Sunday, October 30 from 12 to 4 p.m. to learn more about future plans.
1 thought on “Efforts are underway to save Rosati-Kain”
We live near Rosati Kain, and when Froyo was in operation, many of the students walked there together. The groups were marked by diversity and genuine camaraderie. Rosati Kain seems to offer not only a good educational experience, but also an atmosphere of acceptance and mutual support that is so important for adolescent girls. Hopefully, it will remain open, thanks to volunteers.