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Community turns out to support St. Agnes

LAKE PLACID - A crowd of nearly 100 people packed the cafeteria at St. Agnes School in Lake Placid June 15 to show their support for the school, which could be closed by July 1 if student enrollment isn't bolstered.

The decision to close the school, which serves students in kindergarten through fifth grade, was made last week when the parish finance committee met with school pastor Father Joseph Morgan.

St. Agnes School principal Anne Bayruns was later given two weeks to try and increase enrollment for next fall. There are currently 37 students expected to attend classes in September - the school needs about 50 to remain open.

Bayruns said the number of people who showed up for last night's meeting will help school officials gauge the community's support for the school and the potential of increasing enrollment.

"It just goes to show that everything I've been saying all along is true," Bayruns said. "Lake Placid needs this school, there are people who believe in it, and everyone wants to help. I was amazed that it was as big as it was, but it just went to prove my point that this school needs to stay open. It was wonderful."

During the meeting Bayruns touted the benefits of the school, saying that many students who graduate from St. Agnes have gone on to become valedictorians and salutatorians. She said they also have programming not available in public elementary schools, like French, outdoor education, and drama club.

"St. Agnes provides our children with such a strong foundation," Bayruns told the crowd.

Father Morgan said school administrators plan on raising tuition from $1,500 to $1,700. But the parish is already $50,000 over budget for the current school year.

The only grade with an enrollment in the double digits is third grade, with 10 students.

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