A big thanks to all of our recent donors and contributors!
When we met with Archdiocese staff on October 7, 2022, they outlined three criteria for operating as an independent school in the current Rosati-Kain facilities on Lindell Boulevard: (1) obtaining Archbishop Rozanski's blessing, (2) obtaining juridic sponsorship, and (3) negotiating a lease for the property acceptable to the Archdiocese. In eleven weeks, we were able to reach all three of these milestones. A renewable three-year lease with the Archdiocese for the Lindell property was fully executed on January 9, 2023.
Absolutely. We recognize our unique mission in the city and the St. Louis region:
Through a vibrant Catholic education, we cultivate the individuality, faith, talent, and aspirations of young women who will lead and serve the world.
Rosati-Kain High School is a vibrant, inclusive community where diversity of thought and experience is respected and viewed as essential to excellence. We welcome and benefit from the perspectives of people who differ in a variety of ways. At Rosati-Kain, all voices speak and are heard; active engagement of all is expected and important for the strength of the school community. Our shared values bind us together. Our interdependence and our individual differences are worthy of celebration.
As a condition of leasing us the Lindell property, the Archdiocese required that we continue to be a Catholic school—and we wanted to continue to be a Catholic school. A juridic sponsor authorized by the Vatican is required for a school to operate as Catholic. SJEM has the required Vatican authorization. SJEM sponsors five other Catholic schools, in addition to our new Rosati-Kain Academy. With SJEM as our sponsor, we will be working side-by-side to carry out the charism of the Catholic church and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. SJEM will help us form our expanded board (see below) and offer us a framework for leadership.
RKA was formed as a Missouri nonprofit corporation. However, Missouri nonprofits are not automatically tax-exempt under federal law. In order for contributions to be tax deductible for federal income tax purposes, an organization must be approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. In November, RKA submitted the necessary paperwork to become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization but has not yet been approved. We have been told that approval can take 6 months or more. Until we receive our 501(c)(3) designation papers, we are not qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions from our donors. It is imperative that we follow the 501(c)(3) rules and protocol to the letter, and we have employed the assistance of the St. Louis Community Foundation to receive tax-deductible donations on our behalf.
The Rosati-Kain Forever Fund at the Foundation is an IRS-qualified charitable account that allows our donors to efficiently make qualified tax-deductible contributions and allows our Board to utilize those funds immediately for expenses related to our transition and preparation for the 2023-24 school year. Board member Nikki Martinez is an employee of the St. Louis Community Foundation and serves as our internal fund steward.
We expect to receive our 501(c)(3) determination paperwork in the coming months, at which time we will establish our banking relationship with St. Louis-based Midwest BankCentre and transfer the balance of our fund to our new accounts. Until that time the Rosati-Kain Forever Fund will receive our donations, and we will operate under the employer identification number (“EIN”) of the St. Louis Community Foundation.
If your friends or family wish to donate to the new school, please explain the above situation.
Rosati-Kain High School is the current Archdiocesan high school. The existence of that high school will terminate on June 30, 2023, per directive of the Archdiocese. Dr. Ann Goodwin is the President of the Archdiocesan-operated Rosati-Kain High School until its existence terminates.
Rosati-Kain Academy is a new nonprofit corporation with its own board of directors that will operate the new Rosati-Kain Academy (“RKA”) as a private Catholic all-girls high school. That board of directors (the “Board”) is working hard on the plan of operation for the school from July 1, 2023 into the future. The Board has engaged Cynthia Goudy as Interim President of RKA to focus on that work. Cynthia plans to be on campus several days a week in order to communicate regularly with faculty and staff until the permanent president of RKA begins work. We need your input and engagement as we put the new framework for Rosati-Kain Academy in place.
It is our hope that Dr. Goodwin and Cynthia (along with our new permanent President—see below) can work cooperatively to ensure a smooth transition from Archdiocesan operation of the school to its operation by our new nonprofit.
The Interim President has the power and authority given to it by the RKA Board. The Board has delegated to Cynthia Goudy the functions of President of Rosati-Kain Academy until a new permanent President is selected by the board. Cynthia reports to the RKA board of directors.
The Board is responsible for the operations of the Rosati-Kain Academy nonprofit corporation. Those responsibilities include all matters involved in operating the new school. As noted above, the Board has delegated to Cynthia Goudy the authority (but not the responsibility, which is retained by the Board) to carry out the functions of President of the new school until a new permanent President is selected.
Current interim board members with their areas of expertise noted are listed below.
It was necessary to form an interim board in order to apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. The interim board is currently in the process of expanding to include additional areas of expertise related to the operation of a quality high school.
The Board is currently focused on selecting a new permanent President of the new school, on expanding the Board to include people with expertise in the various disciplines involved in operating a school, and on developing procedures for the Board’s operation. The Board is also focused on examining key aspects of the current Archdiocesan school’s operation and determining how to transition those aspects and improve them. As announced at the January 6 event, one aspect that the Board plans to improve is raising faculty compensation to more closely mirror faculty compensation in private and public schools. Over the next several months, the Board will vote on the variety of initiatives that are needed to make the new school functional, sustainable and successful.
RKA is a new entity. Many of our supporters advised that selecting a President is one of the most important keys to our future success and that we should initiate an open search for the right person to fill this position. During the last week of December, 2022, RKA board members had conversations with Dr. Ann Goodwin about her future with RKA. We asked Dr. Goodwin to apply for the position and hope she considers doing so. We are stronger together, and we would like to make the transition from an Archdiocesan high school to a private high school a smooth one for our students, faculty and staff.
We plan to select the most qualified candidate as our new President. We are looking for someone who can make our new school high-quality, inclusive, successful and attractive to the widest variety of qualified students, as well as someone who can create a stable and inviting work environment.
Michelle Bonner, a human resources consultant and Chair of the RKA Board, will lead a search committee composed of members of the local educational community.
We hope to initially retain most, if not all, of the current school’s faculty and staff. RKA will offer a 1-year contract to any faculty who wish to remain with the new school. We sincerely hope that they will choose to remain with our new school so that the excellent academic and other traditions that characterize the current school can be carried forward into the new school’s operation. The faculty have been the lifeblood of the school and we truly value their contributions. It is our goal to present faculty and staff with contracts no later than March 1—the same date as the Archdiocese presented contracts last year.
So many wonderful members of our community volunteered their talents in October. Now that we have signed a lease with the Archdiocese, partnered with SJEM as our Catholic sponsor, and laid some logistical groundwork, it is our goal to resurrect these groups and GET TO WORK
One of the main reasons Cynthia will be on campus several days each week is to create consistent and frequent communication with parents, faculty and students. Cynthia will be hosting roundtable discussions on Fridays with students so they can become more involved. The first roundtable kicked off on Friday, January 13.
Yes, continued financial assistance is a key part of our strategic planning. Rosati-Kain currently has low tuition costs among private and Catholic high schools. We also have the distinction of offering a significant amount of scholarships and need-based tuition discounts. We plan to continue offering this same level of assistance at the future Rosati-Kain Academy.
Costs are directly related to a number of key factors, including the number of students, teachers and staff, insurance costs and building expenses. We’ve modeled several different financial scenarios to account for each of these variables.
Before the onset of COVID, rumors circulated that the school would be closed. Parents were hesitant to trust their daughters’ futures to a school that might close. Then COVID closed schools for everyone over for parts of the next two years, resuming in-person but also maintaining virtual classes.
Ahead of those incidents, we were on track to have our strongest enrollment in recent years, averaging 270 students a year. We believe we can rebuild to that level in the coming years through plans we’re now putting in place.
We are encouraged by the many eighth-grade students who have strong interest in Rosati-Kain:
In a recent survey, 19% of respondents said they have middle school students considering
Rosati-Kain. Additional applications are coming through our website as public-school
students don't go through the same application process as the Catholic grade schools.
Our current students still want to be here and can’t imagine going anywhere else. Their
parents tell us: “I love that the school is in the city and the students are exposed to different
viewpoints and perspectives,” and “RK has found a wonderful balance of faith-based education
and a nurturing environment that empowers young women to believe and achieve.”
We intend to build on the solid 111-year history of the school while we take a holistic look at the future of the school. Our current focus is retaining current students and creating a vibrant freshman class for the 2023-2024 school year. We are reimagining what RK will look like in the future. We are examining possibilities from every angle.
Research and conversation that will include an analysis of the need, how that need is being served currently, how it is being served after the All Things New Initiative is complete, and whether there is a role for R-K in the middle school landscape of St. Louis.
Yes. Currently, Rosati-Kain High School is accredited by Cognia/AdvancED (formerly known as the North Central Association). Rosati-Kain Academy will notify Cognia of the change in governance status.
This designation would recognize the building’s historic significance as a beautiful structure in the shadow of the Cathedral Basilica and as one of the great contributions of architect Henry Hess. For Rosati-Kain High School, gaining building landmark status would not only pay tribute to its structural history but also acknowledge the vital construction occurring within its wall: For the past century, Rosati has helped to build strong, intelligent and independent women.