Saint Barnabas High School in the Bronx set to close, leaving families scrambling

Parents and students at Saint Barnabas High School in the Bronx are faced with an unexpected summer project…searching for a new high school to go to.  

The school announced that it would not reopen in the fall. 

"It is with a heavy heart that a decision has been made that Saint Barnabas High School (SBHS) will cease operations and will not be reopening in September 2024," a letter from the school's board of trustees read. 

The news came suddenly, just a few months after the school celebrated its 100th anniversary in April. 

"It was a shock. They sent me my summer reading, I was about to buy the book, and then the next day I got an e-mail that they were closing in the morning," Ciara Napoleon (Saint Barnabas student) said. 

Saint Barnabas High School faces rising costs

Saint Barnabas High School, founded in September 1924, is an all-girls, private Roman Catholic high school in Woodlawn Heights near Yonkers. 

Although St. Barnabas is a Catholic school, its's not run by the diocese.

Instead, it operates under the authority of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

The school says they were challenged to meet rising operating costs due to a lack of donations and enrollment. 

FOX 5's Teresa Priolo reports that the school had been battling financial issues for years. 

But parents were given little to no notice of the matter. 

"I got the notice last week, like last Friday, and it was emailed to me, and I was shocked," student Semanda Barris said. 

One parent said she had already paid for next semester.

 "We paid fees for September. We thought we were set with our children coming to school, and obviously we're not," Bernadette Brown said. 

She says she wishes she had known that the school was facing financial troubles sooner. 

"I just wish we would've known they were in financial trouble. We could have raised money," Brown said. 

The school says it is working with families to ensure our students are "welcomed" in neighboring Catholic high schools. 

As for teachers, they say they're working with the union to assist faculty in finding employment with other Catholic schools.

 (Photo by Raychel Brightman/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

"It's very sudden, you know, so you gotta scramble to try to decide where another school's gonna be for her," parent Chris O'Brien said. 

But there's no guarantee other schools will have space, or meet the standards of the parents or the students.

"It's going to be a little rough. And we just got to see how it all pans out. We just got to take it as it comes, and just deal with it", parent John Paige, said. 

The school serves roughly 190 students and is one of the most affordable all-girl Catholic schools in the Bronx.

A petition has been created by students and parents to help raise money to keep these school open.