After 33 years, Fairview Christian School is closing.
Parents of the school's 65 students in kindergarten through 12th grade learned this week that classes will dismiss May 30 for the last time.
Revenue will no longer cover expenses, Principal Ray Allen said, and the school's reserves are gone.
The congregation of Fairview Mennonite Church, which operates the school on Goltra Road between Albany and Lebanon, voted to close it.
Fairview Christian operates on tuition, donations, fundraisers and support from Fairview Mennonite Church, which has contributed in excess of $50,000 each year, Allen said.
Even if enrollment stayed the same and the school had a good return from its annual auction next year, Fairview Christian was looking at a deficit of $57,000, Allen said. After many meetings and four weeks of
deliberation, the church decided it didn't have the resources to
contribute $107,000, Allen said.
The school employs 12 people: Allen, a secretary, a bookkeeper and nine teachers.
The school began in the basement of Fairview Mennonite Church in the fall of 1975, Allen said. In 1984 it moved into its multipurpose building, containing classrooms and a gym.
Enrollment has ranged from 30 to 80 students over the years, with one or two years topping 100. But the count has been declining for the past four years.
Fairview is a member of the Association of Christian Schools, the nation's largest association of Protestant schools. Officials there said the group has seen about 150 schools close each year in the past three or four years.
Allen said that according to his research the average size of the closing schools was 69.5 students. Market trends don't suggest a turnaround, he said.
Allen believes students are leaving to seek schools with more offerings.