St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School held a successful bottle drive and fundraiser. (PHOTO BY Mike Gregory)

St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School held a successful bottle drive and fundraiser. (PHOTO BY Mike Gregory)

Financial situation looking good for St. Joseph’s School in Chemainus to remain open

Fundraising event at the school puts things on the right track

The principal of St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Chemainus said the school is doing well to meet its financial obligations and remain open.

“We’re not anticipating any closure,” said Keefer Pollard after earlier fears were made public with the announcement the school was facing an $800,000 deficit situation.

A bottle drive held as part of a fundraising launch netted $3,000, Pollard reported.

Many other fundraising projects are planned in the months ahead.

Pollard added GoFundMe and CanadaHelps campaigns were also being considered for people to make donations. Commitments have already been pledged by many people to help keep the school open.

Pollard remained optimistic with the course of action being taken through consultation with the Diocese of Victoria’s Finance Committee. St. Joseph’s balanced its budget last year and is on track to do the same this school year, one of the priorities mandated by Pollard when he took over as principal in September.

“The Superintendent has said, you’re in the black and you’ve got a plan,” he related.

Pollard addressed the issue before parents, family and friends of students last Wednesday prior to the school’s rescheduled Christmas concert. The day of the concert before Christmas was icy and staff was worried for the safety of those coming to the school and called it off until the new January 10 date for the holiday extension.

“This is a challenging time for St. Joseph’s,” Pollard told the audience. “We are up for review this year to see if we can continue to stay open.”

But he expressed optimism and even more now since things have settled down about a successful conclusion.

“Our monthly records show we’re tracking on budget,” he said.

“It’s looking very good for us.”

There are 95 students at the school, just under the capacity of 100 that Pollard said will remain the upper echelon.

“That seems to be where the historical trend of the last 20 years is,” he indicated.