BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Runnels School announced Friday, Feb. 7 its high school division will close at the end of the current school year. The school says the decision was made unanimously by the Runnels Board of Trustees due to insufficient enrollment for the upcoming school year.
“This has been a heartbreaking outcome. We are dedicated to making the final months of Runnels High School the best possible experience for all involved,” said Dr. LK Runnels, founding headmaster and president of Runnels Schools.
Dr. Runnels says enrollment for preschool, elementary, and junior high does support continuing those educational programs.
“Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, Runnels School will continue as a vibrant preschool through 8th grade school,” Dr. Runnels said.
Runnels was founded more than 50 years ago and is known for excellence in academics, small class sizes, and an emphasis on creativity and the arts, as well as a tolerant atmosphere, the school says.
Administrators, faculty, and staff were notified Friday, then an email was sent to parents and other school personnel.
“We sincerely thank everyone in the ‘Runnels Family’ - students, parents, alumni, friends, and especially our administrators and faculty - for their ongoing support throughout this difficult and sad period in the history of our school,” Dr. Runnels said in the email.
The full email reads:
"As you know, we have made the difficult and heartbreaking decision to close our high school at the end of this school year. The preschool, elementary school, and middle school grades are not affected by this decision.
In spite of great efforts to keep the high school open, the enrollment in that division made it impossible. I feel that Runnels is a wonderful gift to parents and students in our community and that the loss of our high school will be deeply significant.
The faculty and staff are united in their commitment to make this high school year an exciting and memorable experience. The Junior Class Ring Ceremony, Prom, Festival of Arts, Senior Stroll, and Senior Sunset will go on as usual, and we can’t wait to applaud our seniors on commencement day.
We sincerely thank all the parents, grandparents, alumni, faculty and staff members, students, and friends of our school who offered their support and we look forward to working with them as our school looks to the future."