St. Walter in Morgan Park calls itself “the small parish that does things in a big way.” The church will put that slogan to test this week as it fights to keep its elementary school from going under. The Archdiocese of Chicago has given St. Walter Elementary School until Jan. 7 to raise $360,345 to keep the doors open for the 2019-2020 school year. The money is needed to cover expected operational deficits this school year and the next. Principal Sharon O’Toole, who came to St. Walter in 2016, said the school has raised nearly $200,000 in cash donations and commitments since September. But O’Toole said the school’s small, middle-class community has given all it can. She’s now praying for big donors from outside the parish to swoop in. “I really believe there are people out there who will come through big time if they just hear our story,” she said. “St. Walter will be able to rise above this challenge and we will continue to prosper for years to come.” St. Walter’s serves 118 students. Tuition is $6,000 and some 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced school lunch. Just over half of the student body is… Read full this story
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