ST. LOUIS — Thousands of girls have been built up by Rosati-Kain and now the same women are fighting to prevent it from shutting down.
"How much of an impact would it be? It would not be dropping a pebble, it is like a dropping a boulder and the chasm is vast if that happens," alumna Jeane Mitchell-Carr said.
Almost two weeks ago, the Archdiocese of St. Louis abruptly announced two Catholic school closures, including Rosati-Kain in the Central West End, by the end of the school year.
This is all due to the archdiocese's restructuring plan called "All Things New".
Cynthia Forcelledo Goudy is 2003 alumna and the chair of the RK Forever.
This is the alumnae-led group trying to make Rosati-Kain an independent school.
"I think we were all shocked especially because it came before the listening sessions for 'All Things New,'" she said.
More than 300 listening sessions are scheduled to engage parishioners and solicit feedback in the following months.
Sessions will take place throughout 178 parishes through Nov. 19.
But the plan seems to be already moving forward.
"We are going to be open and that is our message today," Goudy said.
Rosati-Kain alumnae plan to turn this around.
"What ended up happening is a groundswell of pride of who we are and what we do came forth. We don't go down without a fight," Mitchell-Carr adds.
More than 500 community members came forward last week and created seven working groups to keep the school alive.
"A lot of our alums have offered their legal help and offered financial help and that's critical as we move forward," Goudy said.
Even meeting with the archdiocese this past Friday, pitching a plan to be independent.
"They have given us these steps that we need to take and collaborate with us to get our independent school accreditation," Goudy said.
Hearing the news, current junior Nehtia Hazelwood clung to hope.
"It's still that hope that I may have my senior year," she said. "Rosati-Kain means everything to me."
While alumnae say they have faith.
"We have a lot of people behind us, initial gifts coming to the top, we are beyond thrilled and beyond stable and beyond excited of the direction moving forward," Goudy said.
Alumnae are filing a 501C-3 to create the Rosati Kain academy, so they can accept donations. Paperwork for that should be filed as soon as Tuesday.
The group said it will submit its proposal to the archdiocese as soon as possible.
Rosati-Kain will host an open house on Oct. 30 from no to 4 p.m. in an attempt to keep the momentum going.
Todd Sweda, the superintendent for secondary education for the archdiocese, provided the following statement with 5 On Your Side:
“The Archdiocese had a productive meeting last week with a committee of Rosati-Kain alumnae. Significant time was spent on financial reports and the issues associated with becoming an independent Catholic school, as this will be the last academic year that Rosati-Kain will be operated by the Archdiocese. We expect to receive a proposal from this group in the coming weeks.”
As for listening sessions, parishioners are invited to register for their parish’s listening session. Click here for details.