Education

School in El Cerrito needs donations to stay open

Friday, October 07, 2011
Windrush School students

Hundreds of students at an East Bay private school may find themselves looking for a new school in the middle of the school year if their financially-struggling school can't come up with enough money by tonight's deadline.

Parents of students at Windrush School in El Cerrito are being asked to save the school or it will close today. The school usually has about 300 students, but presently has about 165. Many families have moved out of the Bay Area or are putting their kids into public schools.

The school now can't pay down a $13 million bond used to build a new middle school. Parents were given two weeks to come up with $1 million.

"Since we borrowed the money, the economy and the recession have just been really, really difficult for this school. This was a school that didn't have an endowment at the time and still doesn't," said Ilana Kaufman, who is the head of the school.

"My kids love it here, they have both thrived here. It is such a happy, warm wonderful place. I'm heartbroken at the thought that it won't be here," said parent Nina McDonald.

The parents have stepped up and have raised all but $10,000 to keep the school open. They have until 5 p.m. to come up with the rest.

Private schools are struggling all across the state. Since the recession started, 445 private schools have shutdown in California.

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Tags:
el cerrito, school closures, fundraiser, education, amy hollyfield
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