Closing Granada Hills School Races To Fund $200K ‘Miracle’

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A San Fernando Valley private school may be running out of money, but faith seems to be in abundant supply as parents scramble to keep its doors from closing.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports parents and teachers hope to raise at least $200,000 by next week to save Granada Hills Baptist School.

“The school and church boards have felt that they’ve really exhausted their efforts, and so now it’s time for the parents to really step up,” said Nancy Wright, president of the Parent Teacher Foundation at Granada Hills Baptist School.

Wright is leading the charge to keep the K-6 private school open after church pastor Desmond Hoffmeister announced the nearly 60-year-old school would close due to the massive budget deficit and a sharp drop in enrollment.

The nonprofit school operated by Granada Hills Baptist Church saw its enrollment plunge from 195 students in 2005-2006 to only 50 this fall.

Wright and other parents lobbied for the chance to raise the money and save the jobs of at least six classroom teachers and five other staffers.

“We are doing everything,” Wright said. “From students having lemonade stands to partnering with local businesses, even contacting Major League Baseball players.”

“We’re not giving up,” she added.

The school has until May 17 to raise the funds.

  • Michael Gitomer

    The real story is the drop in enrollment from 195 to 50. Private schools are businesses and apparently this one can no longer sell their product.

  • Topher

    I agree with Michael Gitomer. Not only that, but these children would most likely fare well in public school, where they can learn actuality instead of faith. Faith shouldn’t be taught at school; it should be taught at home, and a person should also teach him- or herself that throughout life.

  • CJ

    I went to this school 30 years ago. It’s the sweetest little school. The classrooms are set up like public school rooms. Kids learn about Jesus, but they also learn everything they need for graduating to the next grade whether in a public or private school. They also have field trips, which is important for kids…which public schools can’t do. I hope I can afford putting my daughter in this school when she turns 5. I’m sure any parent who has done research on education would prefer to put their kid in some kind of a private school instead of public school. This is a good school, bottom line, and I can attest to this fact because I personally went there. Haters need to go do some work with their hands, instead of sitting at a computer all day posting to every blog that asks for an opinion.

  • Shannon Hubbard

    Exactly, CJ. I too attended this school for Kindergarten through sixth grade, and it provided an excellent education and foundation for living. I formed lasting friendships at Granada Hills Baptist, and the place truly became a family.

    Yes, public schools provide excellent options, but there is something to be said about a school where the principal and EVERY teacher knows every student’s name and cares to go the extra mile. This isn’t about a business not selling its product; it’s about wonderful teachers and quality education struggling to survive and be given a chance to strengthen itself after suffering economic blows. I consider myself very lucky to have attended this school. I also taught there for several years and promise the people there are devoted to educating. I can only hope it will still be around if I’m lucky enough to have children of my own. They will be enrolled for Kindergarten at birth.

    • Tara Payon

      I love it Shannon, I want Mia and the one on the way to attend. Think about how many classmates we are still in touch with today. Amazing school.

  • Christin Ritter

    Here’s how to help!! You can make a donation through PayPal:

    Our parents would appreciate it much! Thanks!

  • Resident

    Wow, what an effort being made by families and the community to keep this school running, something special is happening here, no matter what the outcome. There is something to be said about a small private school that has been able to run for over 60years, no matter what faith. Lets be tolerant on both ends.

  • Former Student

    I attended this school, as did both of my brothers, and I am much better for it. The education I received there was exemplary — anyone who blindly believes that children who attend GHB only learn faith is severely misguided. I remember the names of every one of my teachers and nearly every staff member who was there throughout my time. I met my best friend at GHB and am still friends with several other previous classmates. The faculty and staff nurtured my interests and pushed us all to be the best we could be. I attended public school from 7th grade on and still feel that GHB provided me with a much better social and educational foundation than any public elementary school could have. I am so sad to hear that it could be closing and that so few students are attending this year. Please donate if you can, and spread the word!

  • GHBS parent

    Really, you think my son would do better in a public school?? He would do better in a class of 30 to 40 instead of less than 20? He would do better in a school that is losing all it’s arts, music, drama and creative-anything teachers because there isn’t enough money, instead of the speech meet, class drama production, hand’s-on music instruction, and trip around the world curriculum that he is getting now? He is reading above his grade level and scored high on his Standard testing last year. And he is challenged to live as a person with character traits such as honesty, compassion, responsibility and humility. I am proud that he is attending Granada Hills Baptist School, and I am working with my fellow parents for a great education for our children.

  • GHB Alumni

    Topher you have no clue what you are talking about. I also went to this school K-6 and am a better all around person for it. The teachers and staff were great. Believe it or not Topher we were taught all the core subjects and also about Jesus. I went to public school after graduating from GHB and was way ahead of all the other 7th graders that came from public school system. The problem with the drop in students is only due to the economic issues that are happening. By the way your LAUSD is not fairing

  • Rebecca Lucas

    GHB Alumni
    My daughter attended GHB from 1st thru 6th grade. I believe her time there was priceless. GHB assisted me in instilling the values and morals of a good Christian, as well as providing her with a top notch education. She has been lucky enough to continue her Christian education at LAB with 17 of her classmates from GHB. These really good kids are a product of their education at GHB, a place where your kids are truely loved by each and every teacher and staff member. Anyone that helps to save GHB will be BLESSED!!

  • Jessica Lash (Holland)

    I too went to GHB, as did my older brother. I loved that school and still do. My favorite teachers were teachers that I had at GHB. I have worked in LAUSD classrooms and I can tell you first hand that the students at GHB are getting a much better education. AND they have teachers that care about them… not all LAUSD teachers care about their students, some do but not all. I pray that they money will come and they will be able to stay open for many years to come!

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