PORTAGE PARK — St. Ladislaus School parents were heartbroken after learning the Catholic school would be closing at the end of the school year.
The Chicago Archdiocese announced Wednesday that it was closing six schools in the city, including St. Ladislaus, by the end of the school year.
"This is really devastating," said Karla Ramirez, parent of a fifth-grade student. "This school has been in my family's life for a long time. I've had four children go to this school, my oldest [who went to this school] is now 21. So you can imagine, it's really heartbreaking.
"I know they've been short of funds, but I hope there's something we can do. [The parents] are open to suggestions of what can be done to keep the school open," Ramirez added, fighting back tears.
Sherry Jimenez, who has had six grandchildren attend the school, also was shocked with Wednesday's announcement.
"This is terrible," Jimenez said. "It's been a strong instrument for the Hispanic and the Polish community. The academics are just outstanding. The teachers are great. My grandson is 9 and his reading level is far above where he is supposed to be. You won't find that in a public school. There's nothing like a Catholic school education."
Handy Cabrera, a working mother who has been thankful for the school's before- and after-care programs, is trying to figure out what her next step will be for her 9-year-old son's education.
"I've been bringing my son here since he was 3," Cabrera said. "I don't know what I'm going to do now. All the other Catholic schools in the area are too expensive."
Jennifer Saenz, a parent of two students and a recent St. Ladislaus graduate, said the school community "is like a family."
"At this [point], I'm hoping for a miracle," Saenz said.
Said graduate Joel Fajardo, now a freshman at St. Patrick High School: "I've spent the majority of my life here. Sad to see the memories fade away."
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