Leesburg private Christian school Dominion Academy is closing its doors after 16 years.
Leesburg Community Church, which oversees the school, sent out a press release Thursday afternoon, citing a continued trend of declining enrollment as leading to the decision to close.
The pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school has seen enrollment decline from 300 students in 2005 to 234 students this year, and only 115 students have signed up to attend this fall, according to the statement.
Leesburg Community Church and Dominion Academy share a campus at 835 Lee Ave SW in Leesburg.
“The school may no longer be associated with Leesburg Community Church, but we’re hoping that the school continues somewhere else,” Jodi Mallon, who has two children at the academy, said today.
Dominion Academy welcomed completely new leadership last fall. Carson Rich became its new headmaster after working as a youth and discipleship pastor at Leesburg Community Church. Marie Miller was named the school’s academic officer, bringing years of experience in law and education.
In an interview with Leesburg Today in September, Rich said, although the school is under new leadership, the direction of the school would not change.
“We still are a school community that focuses on high academic standards and high moral standards,” he said, emphasizing that one cannot be done without the other. “You may have a great message to share, but if you don’t have high academic standards, who’s listening?”
Calls to Dominion Academy’s administration were not immediately returned.
News of the school’s closing comes as most families with children in private schools finalize enrollment papers to secure seats for next school year.
Leesburg Christian School, the only K-12 Christian school in Loudoun County, has taken an influx of calls today from Dominion Academy parents hoping to find a spot for their children this fall.
“Which shows you how significant this is,” Leesburg Christian Dean of Students Howard Schlichting said. “It’s difficult because these families are suddenly looking for another place to educate their children that matches their faith.”
Space is limited at Leesburg Christian, which currently has a total of 155 students. But, Schlichting said, if the school were to see a huge influx in enrollment requests, the school could add additional classes and hire more teachers.
“We approach all of this with a heaviness—we’re saddened that this happened,” Schlichting said of Dominion Academy’s closing. “We don’t wish this upon anybody. This is going to affect the teachers, the staff members, the custodians—all the way down the list. It’s not just about getting students into schools.”
This is a developing story.