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More than $1 million in debt, Pope John XXIII High School in Everett will close

Pope John XXIII High School in Everett established a boarding school for international students in 2010.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/file

Facing over $1 million in debt, Pope John XXIII High School in Everett is closing after 53 years, Head of School Carl DiMaiti announced in a letter to families.

“This is a sad day for all of us,” he said in the letter sent late Thursday night.

The school is closing because International Residence Management, a Florida-based company it hired to recruit foreign students “failed to meet the obligations of its agreement with the school,” resulting in a $1.3 million shortfall, DiMaiti said.

The school would also need over $1 million to open for the 2019/2020 school year, he said. “Unfortunately, this is a challenge we are simply unable to achieve,” DiMaiti wrote.

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Pope John began working with International Residence Management, then known as United Schools Association, in 2010 to create a boarding school after struggling with low enrollment, the Globe has reported.

A phone number for IRM could not be found, and a phone number listed for the United Schools Association was not in service Thursday night.

DiMaiti first disclosed the financial shortfall in a letter to the school community in April. Almost immediately, students and alumni of the school mobilized a campaign to save the school on Broadway.

But those efforts ultimately were not enough to solve the school’s mounting debt. “All monies donated to this effort will be returned in full,” DiMaiti wrote.

Pope John XXIII High School was established in 1966 by the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Archdiocese of Boston, according to the school’s website. Students from 15 cities and 13 countries attended the school.

The school added Roncalli Prep, a grade 7 and 8 program, in recent years. Pope John held its 50th commencement on May 23 and the school will permanently close on June 7, according to the school calendar.

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Tuition was $9,500 per year, according to the school’s website. The school last year had 352 students, according to the data reported to the state Department of Education.

DiMatti said the school has been working with the Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese of Boston to assist students moving to new schools in the fall.

More than seven local Catholic schools have showed interest in helping students, he said.

“Our goal must be to provide as seamless a transition as possible,” he said.

The school is also asking Catholic schools with open positions to give priority to staff members affected by the closing, DiMatti said.


Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.