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Corpus Christi School in Woodside to Close in June

By DNAinfo Staff on January 23, 2012 12:10pm

Corpus Christi School in Woodside will close at the end of the academic year.
Corpus Christi School in Woodside will close at the end of the academic year.
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DNAinfo/Nick Hirshon

WOODSIDE — A Queens Catholic school will reportedly close at the end of the academic year due to rising debt and low enrollment.

Corpus Christi School on 60th St. will shut its doors in June, according to the Tablet, the newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens.

It reported that the school's temporary administrator, the Rev. Denis Herron, and its principal, Robert DiNardo, wrote a Jan. 12 letter to parents in which they said the parish can no longer subsidize the school, which faces a $73,000 deficit.

"Our main focus now must be to do everything we can to care for our children," the joint letter read, according to the Tablet. The letter continued that the school will "continue its program of excellence until the very last day of school in June."

The parish will offer assistance to students who want to transfer to neighboring Catholic schools, the newspaper reported. The school's website was down as of early Monday afternoon.

In a video posted last year on YouTube, a seventh-grade student asked about the school's potential closing said "it would stink."

"I've been here since pre-K," she said. "All I ever dreamed about was getting to eighth grade ... and graduating from here."

Another female student in the YouTube clip said she was concerned about the faculty and her classmates.

"Although I've only been here for two years, it has been the best experience of my life," she said. "I've had so [many] friends. I've changed so much. It really opened the doors and my faith grew and stuff.

"We have a really nice church and the priest is awesome. And all the teachers are cool. And I'm worried that if the school closes, all the wonderful teachers and all the kids will have to go somewhere else."

The school's physical education teacher says in the clip that Corpus Christi, where he has taught for 15 years, is a "friendly and family school."

DiNardo boasts in the video, posted in April 2011, that the school recently added a track team and a band program and hopes to expand with foreign language and health and nutrition programs.

"We have a lot going on and we plan on doing a lot more," he said. "It should stay open because it's everything that a Catholic school can be, and that's really the simplest way I can put it."

A sign taped to a lamppost near the school still urges passers-by to help keep Corpus Christi open. It calls the teachers "great with strong family values" and labels DiNardo "outstanding."

"Please send your kid's [sic] to our school," the flyer reads. "You will not regret it!"