St. Agnes Academic High School in College Point to close due to financial hardship

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St. Agnes Academic High School, located at 13-20 124 St. in College Point, is a culturally diverse Catholic high school for young women that develops a strong foundation for lifelong learning. (Photo via Google Earth)

St. Agnes Academic High School, an all-girls private Roman Catholic School in College Point, is permanently closing its doors at the end of the 2021 school year.

The Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville sent a letter on Jan. 13 informing parents of the school’s closure, saying that the “financial realities during the past several years” have made it impossible to sustain the school and that the COVID-19 pandemic had complicated the previously existing difficulties.

“After considerable thought and discussion, we announce with great sadness that Saint Agnes will close its doors at the end of this 2021 academic year,” Sister Peggy McVetty, OP, Prioress, and members of the leadership council said in the letter. “The decision to end 112 years of excellent education has been most difficult.” 

St. Agnes Academic High School, located at 13-20 124th St., was founded by the Sisters of St. Dominic. It is a culturally diverse Catholic high school for young women that develops a strong foundation for lifelong learning. Its mission is to graduate women who are open to growth, intellectually competent, socially aware, morally discerning and committed to being women of integrity and truth, according to its website.

A plan is in place to enable students to discover their best options in the future, according to McVetty. If desired, the school administration will assist in the placement of students in Catholic high schools, as well as create an academic program which will allow for accelerated graduation for present-day juniors. 

“Know that the administration, faculty and staff are working hard to ease the transition for our young women and to provide a good path forward,” McVetty said. 

To respond to parents’ concerns and questions, Zoom meetings began on Jan. 13 and will continue through Jan. 14-19. 

The Sisters of Saint Dominic, as well as the members of the board of directors, extended their profound gratitude to parents and the school community for its many sacrifices and commitments to St. Agnes.

Saddened and heartbroken by news of the school’s closure, St. Agnes alumni are starting a movement to save the school. 

Alumni Robin Loesch says she feels blessed to have attended St. Agnes that made her the woman she is today. 

“When I hear my alma mater’s name, I feel a sense of pride, joy, wisdom and the spirit of God St.,” Loesch said. “My alma mater helped me achieve success and build the confidence to break myself out of a familial situation that was no fault of my own. As a teacher who was inspired by my teachers from Agnes, I know not every student has the stability and support they deserve academically and spiritually. Young women like myself received this needed stability and support during our time at St. Agnes.” 

Loesch said she started to think about what funds she could personally pull together, whether it was downsizing her upcoming wedding or taking from her savings account. There have also been talks about starting a GoFundMe campaign. 

“If we all pull together to fight for our school, I am sure we can perform a miracle,” Loesch wrote on St. Agnes’ Facebook page. 

Loesche and many alums are planning to contact high-profile individuals to spread their mission, she said. 

“I pray to God we can be successful so other young women can receive the same experience and benefit from what St. Agnes has to offer,” said Loesche, who is feeling hopeful that a miracle can happen to keep the doors of St. Agnes open for future young women.”