Mercy High School, one of the last San Francisco all-girls Catholic schools, to close in June

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One of the last all-women's catholic high school in San Francisco announced that it'll close its doors at the end of this school year.

Mercy High School, founded in 1952 announced in an email that a "decreasing enrollment and lack of significant endowment" played a role in their decision.

Several freshmen, sophomores and juniors have one thing in common Friday night: uncertainty.

Standing in a circle one of Mercy High School basketball players asked her friends: "where are we going to go?"

Questions that arose after Mercy High School announced via email that this independent Catholic school sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy for the last 68 years will close this June.

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"Today even I was discussing what classes I would take in my senior year," said Mercy HS junior Loraine Trinidad.

Several parents said they felt blindsided.

"We have to look for alternative options. Mercy has offered to help with transitions to other schools. I'm not exactly sure really what's going to happen," said parent Marina Martinez.

The school's basketball coach learned about the news at the same time everyone else did.

We asked Coach James Pagan if the school had reached out to him directly prior to the email.

"No, they have not. I think when the decision was made they spoke to their folks internally," and added, "When I walked in today they were crying, there were tears. These are life changing events for these girls. I explained to them there are times that these things happen in life and you have to move forward," said Pagan.

Mercy High School explained in an email. Saying in part:

"The combination of decreasing enrollment, the lack of a significant endowment, and rising operating expenses has made it impossible for the school to maintain financial stability. The basic demographics and economics in San Francisco have changed and many families can no longer afford to live in the city and pay tuition on top of the cost of living. The mission of the Sisters has been to educate young women, regardless of the ability of their families to afford a Catholic education."

Natalie Wolfrom graduated in 2008, she believes Mercy High School closing is another example of a bigger Bay Area crisis.

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"This whole tornado that is causing things like Mercy High School to close and people are just being pushed out and can't afford it," said Wolfrom.

Mercy High School is known for helping low income students.

"One of Mercy's missions from the very beginning was to literally take women off the streets and educate them and give them the tools they need so they can go out into the world," said Wolfrom.

For the transitioning of current and future students Mercy High School said via email:

"The school is working to transition current students as well as those potential new students who were considering Mercy for the 2020-21 year. They will be working with parents as well as with Catholic, public, and independent school administrators to help facilitate the move of members of the Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023 to other schools. School administrators are also working closely with Mercy High School, Burlingame, to explore what opportunities may exist for current San Francisco students to continue their Mercy education."

According to several parents Mercy High School administrator will hold a meeting on Saturday at 10 a.m. to speak about the closure and alternatives.
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