St. John’s and Roseville City School District resolve lawsuit

District sued St. John’s School for unpaid rent after it closed in May
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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The Roseville City School District, St. John’s Parish of Roseville and the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California have resolved litigation following the closure of St. John’s School in May.

In the lawsuit, the school district sought unpaid rent owed by St. John’s School, which had leased the Barbara Chilton Middle School for nearly four years as a temporary campus.

The school district was able to recover more than $100,000 and didn’t lose any money through the resolution, said the district’s attorney Laura Cason, of Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Gerard.

“Both (parties) are happy to have it resolved and worked cooperatively to do that,” Cason said.

The diocese and parish denied liability for the school’s debt.

According to a joint statement issued Wednesday, “The school district, the diocese and the parish recognized that each is an important member of this community and, in a cooperative spirit, worked to reach a fair and equitable resolution for the benefit of the community. While St. John’s School operated as a distinct entity, the diocese and the parish each believed it was important to assist in the resolution of this matter.”

St. John’s School closed due to a debt of roughly $500,000. The school had undergone several months of budget cuts, including teacher layoffs and class consolidations, but still fell short of being able to meet its ongoing financial obligations. The school later filed for bankruptcy.

Parents first saw signs of trouble in November 2011 when Headmaster Father Paul Hancock resigned amid discussions of mismanagement of school funds.

The private, religious school was founded in 1980 as a ministry of the local St. John’s Episcopal Church. At the time of its closure, the school had about 195 students.