Sunday, July 12, 2020
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2nd private school to close in Frederick this year

Officials in Frederick, Maryland, announced that Trinity School, a private Christian school located just inside the town’s borders, would close at the end of this year and become the second private religious school in the town to shut its doors in the last 12 months, the Frederick News-Post reports.

Little is known about the K-8 school, which is a private business, but its indebtedness to the town of Frederick, utility companies, and a local bank are now a matter of public record. According to the article, the school owes:

  • $41,200 in back-rent on the building it leases from the city
  • Roughly $250,000 on a loan from the Frederick Community Bank
  • More than $6,600 in electricity costs

Trinity reported a current enrollment of 66 students, and 19 people are reportedly on staff. Some 30 percent of those are Frederick residents, and student tuition ranges from $7,000 for kindergartners to $12,850 for middle school students each year.

John Hanrahan, an attorney representing Trinity School, said yesterday that the “current business model was unsustainable,” the paper noted. Aldermen discussed the possibility of forgiving the back-rent, but they ultimately rejected that proposal, saying it wasn’t in the town’s best interest to give the private school tens of thousands of dollars. On the other hand, pursuing the outstanding debt could rack up legal costs for the town, which means aldermen find themselves in a lose-lose situation on account of the school’s insolvency.

“Trinity has provided a wonderful education for students,” the paper quoted Head of School Jim James as saying in a statement. “Graduates will take a part of this school with them as they go through their lives. It has been a privilege working with such a talented, visionary faculty and staff. What a terrific group of educators serving wonderful students and their families.”

An all-girls Catholic school, Visitation Academy of Frederick, closed in June, citing reasons similar to those given by Trinity: an unsustainable economic model and low enrollment.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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