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St. John’s School in Roseville to close

Christian K-8 campus will cease operations in late May
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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St. John's School in Roseville will cease operations at the end of this school year, following the realization that school funds had been mismanaged.

The announcement came during a Town Hall meeting Monday evening. The last day of school will be May 25 and preschool, kindergarten and eighth grade graduations will proceed as planned.

"As we all struggle to move forward from this extremely difficult place, let us work together to give the children of (St. John's) a joyful end to the school year, one befitting their special time spent here," wrote board of trustees President Keith Diederich in a letter to parents.

Parents Loriann and Mark Chaussee told the Press Tribune that over Thanksgiving break Headmaster Father Paul Hancock resigned.

"A Town Hall meeting was held to let the parents know that there was a gross mismanagement of school funds," according to the parents. "Fifty percent of the school staff and teachers were immediately laid off and classes combined."

Parents were told that there were no illegal transactions by Hancock, but there was also "no oversight by the Episcopalian Diocese or the school board," according to the Chaussees.

In a Dec. 13 letter to parents, board member Steve Pereira acknowledged the school's financial problems and the upcoming teacher layoffs.

"It is clear that St. John's School has a payroll that is almost as large as all of our total monthly income," Pereira wrote. "We are paying our teachers each month but there is very little left to meet all other monthly obligations. Is this the fault of the teachers? Of course it isn't. It is poor management that allowed expenses to mushroom without making adjustments to income."

St. John's School was founded in 1980 as a ministry of St. John's Episcopal Church in Roseville. The school has leased, and operated out of, Barbara Chilton Middle School for the past several years.

St. John's had originally planned to move into a 72,000-square-foot facility that would house 550 students when the Roseville City School District was ready to open Chilton Middle School in fall 2012.

"For several months now, we were told that the school board was in negotiation with the Diocese and seeking their support to continue the school," according to the Chausses.

On Monday night, parents were told that the Episcopalian Diocese would not be assisting the school any further.

The Press Tribune will continue following this story.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.