All Saints Day School, which has offered day care, preschool and kindergarten classes to Southern Nevada children for 34 years, is scheduled to close Oct. 19.
The move is a result of declining enrollment, rising expenses and changing demographics at the school, 4201 W. Washington Ave., which is operated under the auspices of All Saints Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Eldwin Lovelady, rector of All Saints parish, said the decision to close the school is “based on the immediate reality of money.”
But, he added, enrollment at the nonprofit school has been declining for several years, with class-size adjustments and staff reductions helping to keep the school open.
Now, with 47 part-time and 11 full-time pupils, finances have become unworkable, Lovelady noted.
On Monday, All Saints vestry — the church’s governing body — voted to close the school at the end of business Oct. 19.
The move will put 10 school employees out of work, Day School Director Dyan McCarthy said, and force the parents to find alternatives for their children.
“I’m really heartbroken,” said Akiko Konami, whose daughter, Lucea, 31/2, attends All Saints.
Beyond the difficulty of finding a new school for Lucea well into a new school year, she said, “I worry for the teachers who have been there for two decades and have devoted so much of their life there.”
Parents plan to meet this morning to devise a plan — one that probably will include tuition hikes and soliciting donations from the community — to keep the school open until December.
“If parents can come up with what it takes to do that, I think parish leadership would be open to that,” Lovelady said.
But, as of now, he said, the school’s closure is inevitable, while “the date’s negotiable. I don’t see any other way.”
For staff members, All Saints closure is about more than the loss of one of Las Vegas’ oldest preschools.
All Saints has “always been a safe haven in this area for people who wanted a real, family, loving, caring, quality atmosphere for their children,” McCarthy said.
“We’ve done something that for 34 years has been a wonderful thing,” Lovelady said. “We are going to celebrate that on October 14th. Our main church service will recognize the people who made that happen.
“Then,” Lovelady said, “we’ll go on and see what else the parish might do to reach out to our community.”
Contact reporter John Przybys at firstname.lastname@example.org or (702) 383-0280.