The Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy on Thursday announced it is closing its doors for the school year.
“I am so sorry to tell you that due to a lack of students and therefore a shortage of funds we are unable to open the school this year. If we did we would have to close somewhere in the school year, which would be a disservice,” Pastor Gene Jones is heard saying on a voice mail message left on the phone of a family whose daughter was to start at the school.
He then apologizes for the short notice and said administrators had been working to prevent the closing.
The academy, which was founded 41 years ago in 1976, was to open the day after Labor Day.
Jones declined to comment for this story.
It is unknown what the enrollment figures for the academy were this year or the previous couple years. The school’s website states it has a 10 to 1 student to teacher ratio and an average class size of seven. That website and the school’s Facebook pages on Thursday afternoon gave no indication of the closing.
Legacy Christian Academy, as well as other area schools, were busy Thursday talking to families left scrambling to find a school for their children.
Legacy Christian Academy had already interviewed some families earlier on Thursday and would continue into the evening, said Robert Quinn, school superintendent.
He said a family he had talked to understood about Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy closing but wished they had more notice.
Quinn, who was superintendent of Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy until September 2014, said he, as well as some staff, were disappointed when they heard the news
“They have affection for the school. We hate to see it close,” Quinn said. “We are all for a Christian education. We are sorry that happened to them.”
It was better for them to close now, even though it is near the start of the school year, than try to open and have to close during the school year, Quinn said.
Quinn said Legacy Christian Academy will do its best to accommodate families displaced by the closing but he advised families to come in right away.