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Parents making push to keep St. Clair Shores school open

Parents pushing to keep St. Clair Shores Catholic school open
Parents pushing to keep St. Clair Shores Catholic school open 02:06

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - "Myself and probably most of the parents were pretty shocked," says parent Mike Kaddis when remembering his initial reaction to an email from his kids' school St. Germaine that they were planning on closing their doors at the end of the 2024 academic year.

"You know, it was a call to action for everybody," Kaddis told CBS News Detroit.

In a letter to parents, Father Joe Barren explains the school has been running an operational deficit of $150,000 dollars for many years.

Read the letter below:

Parents making push to keep St. Clair Shores school open

Kaddis says it's not abnormal for smaller catholic schools to operate in a deficit, but after learning that his kids' school may be at risk of closing, he and other parents in the school were able to speak with the archdiocese of Detroit, striking up an agreement, by raising enough money and raising enrollment to keep the doors open.

"It's the 150s essentially. We need to have $150,000 in escrow. We need to have 150 students registered and $150,000 in future pledges," Kaddis added.

The deadline given to these parents is March 1, 2024. A quick turnaround to say the least.

"We're just through the first weekend, and we're halfway through the initial fundraising amount. We've had a ton of students re-register," says Kaddis. He says if they reach their target now, the doors will be able to open in the fall instead of closing for good.

Through this effort, Kaddis says the school will be viable for years to come. Below is a list of open houses and fundraising events. A link to donate can be found here.

Open Houses:
Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 6-8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 24 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.   

Donate in person during open houses or fish fry (Fridays)
Hair-A-Thon: Friday, Feb. 23 from 4-7:30 p.m.
Modern Cone Event, Monday, Feb. 26 from 3:30-8 p.m.

CBS News Detroit is told all donated funds will be returned if those goals aren't met.

As of Monday afternoon, we reached out to the Archdiocese of Detroit for a statement regarding the closure of St Germaine. At the time this story was published, we have not heard back.

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