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10:05 PM Mon, Oct. 22nd

After 37 years, Christian Academy to close

Matthew Blacketer, 6, in the blue cap takes part in a game of Duck, Duck Goose on the new Legacy Lawn playground at the Christian Academy of Prescott. Matthew’s medical condition prevents him from playing outside on hard surfaces without wearing a helmet and kneepads. (Sue Tone/Courier)

Matthew Blacketer, 6, in the blue cap takes part in a game of Duck, Duck Goose on the new Legacy Lawn playground at the Christian Academy of Prescott. Matthew’s medical condition prevents him from playing outside on hard surfaces without wearing a helmet and kneepads. (Sue Tone/Courier)

Parents and teachers received news of the June 29 closure of Christian Academy of Prescott on Friday, Jan. 19, leaving parents stunned and teachers not taking it well, said Susie Neil, head of school.

Students and about 20 teachers and staff will finish out the school year in the location at Marina and Union streets in downtown Prescott. Neil said lack of finances and low enrollment contributed to the decision to close the school, which includes preschool through eighth grade.

Enrollment already had been decreasing when Neil took the position of head of school in 2016. She previously was on the school’s board.

“It had been going down and going down. I feel fortunate to be here to try and help it as it was trying,” she said Friday afternoon following the parents and teachers meeting. Emails and postings on Facebook will take place Monday.

Current enrollment is 55 students and the school needs about 82 students to break even, she said. Student enrollment in the preschool has grown, but it takes a while to see that come to fruition throughout the grade levels.

The property belongs to Solid Rock First Baptist, and Neil said she wasn’t aware of what the future use would be.

About 20 families were represented at Friday’s meeting, and after hearing the news, “they were very quiet,” she said. “The teachers didn’t take it well. We have outstanding teachers. Most have at least one master’s degree. They are well qualified; one has been with us 16 years.”

The school is located at 148 S. Marina St. For more information, call 928-445-2565.