Catholic school shutters doors after 18 years

Pacific Crest Academy in Camas will not reopen in fall, families told in late July

After 18 years in the Camas community, Pacific Crest Academy is closing its doors.

The private Catholic school, located on the same property as St. Thomas Aquinas Church at 324 N.E. Oak St., opened in 1999 and has offered families an alternative to neighborhood schools ever since.

PCA leaders emailed families in late July, informing them that the school would not reopen in the fall.

The decision to shutter PCA weeks before the start of the 2017-18 school year came after school leaders tallied enrollment numbers.

PCA Board of Directors member Carolyn Sims said the school had far fewer students enrolled this year over last, with 47 students enrolled for 2017-18 versus 76 students enrolled during the 2016-17 school year.

Sims noted that board members hoped to give staff and families enough time to find alternative programs.

“After much prayer, effort and tears, the Pacific Crest Academy Board has decided not to reopen the school in the fall,” stated a PCA email sent to parents last week. “Our enrollment numbers did not afford us an opportunity to continue to meet all of the education experiences you have come to expect, and the level of staffing we needed to provide.”

Sims said PCA will refund the fees and tuition families pre-paid for the 2017-18 year, and that the school office will be open later this month so staff can send transcripts to students’ new schools.

The parent email stated that “every effort will be made to make this transition as smooth as possible.”

The closest Catholic schools in the area — St. Joseph’s and Our Lady of Lourdes — are both located in Vancouver.

PCA Principal Tamar Parker could not be reached for comment.

Over the years, PCA was involved in a number of service projects and activities in the local community, often marching in the children’s parade at Camas Days, taking on fundraising challenges and participating in local food drPCA Board of Directors member Carolyn Sims said the school had far fewer students enrolled this year over last, with 47 students enrolled for 2017-18 versus 76 students enrolled during the 2016-17 school year.

Sims noted that board members hoped to give staff and families enough time to find alternative programs.

“After much prayer, effort and tears, the Pacific Crest Academy Board has decided not to reopen the school in the fall,” stated a PCA email sent to parents. “Our enrollment numbers did not afford us an opportunity to continue to meet all of the education experiences you have come to expect, and the level of staffing we needed to provide.”

Sims said PCA will refund the fees and tuition families pre-paid for the 2017-18 year, and that the school office will be open later this month so staff can send transcripts to students’ new schools.

The parent email stated that “every effort will be made to make this transition as smooth as possible.”

The closest Catholic schools in the area — St. Joseph’s and Our Lady of Lourdes — are both located in Vancouver.

PCA Principal Tamar Parker could not be reached for comment.

Over the years, PCA was involved in a number of service projects and activities in the local community, often marching in the children’s parade at Camas Days, taking on fundraising challenges and participating in local food drives.