SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. - Officials at St. Basil Catholic School plan an aggressive marketing and fundraising campaign to boost enrollment and improve revenue at the school, according to the (Benton Harbor) Herald Palladium.

In operation for nearly 60 years, the school has seen enrollment decline from 200 students in 1994 to 100 this year, according to the Herald Palladium. St. Basic Catholic Church, which normally allocates $150,000 for the school, gave $240,000 this year, the Herald Palladium reported.

"It is a fight for survival," Jim Marcoux, a member of the St. Basil Strong Foundation campaign, told the Herald Palladium, but added that he is optimistic the school will remain open.

The school plans to market itself to parents of young children and those looking for an alternative to public schools, the Herald Palladium reported. It also may implement before- and after-school care, raise tuition, mount a capital campaign and add technology-based programs to the curriculum.

"Thirty percent of our students are non-Catholic," Marcoux told the Herald Palladium.  "We don't have this school just for its Catholic education. It offers people a choice in educating their students. Our MEAP (Michigan Education Assessment Program) scores are typically higher than area public schools. People send their children here for our strong curriculum, discipline and Christian-based programs."

SOURCE:
The (Benton Harbor) Herald Palladium, "School fights to stay open," Feb. 11, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "Catholic schools and the common good," Aug. 16, 2005

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