The Desert Review Article ### Local Iconic Educational Institution Fights to Survive During Hard Times

By: Kalin Turner March 18, 2016

BRAWLEY — The small, private Catholic school in Brawley, Sacred Heart, first opened its doors in 1915 and hired the Sisters of Joseph as the teaching force. One hundred and one years later, the nuns are gone, but the teaching staff still nurtures and applies a rigorous education for the pupils that is accredited by WACS and WCEA.

Many families have trusted the Roman Catholic institution to instill faith and character in their children while teaching to excellency. Today, they pride themselves being cutting edge with teaching computer coding in the fourth grade.

The school, with classes from pre-school through eighth grade, has not lost its appeal to the Valley, but due to laws, changing regulations, and a poor economy, operational costs have increased, mainly insurance and employee benefits, which threaten the existence of the iconic institution.

As a solution, Sacred Heart is looking to grow by 20 students by the start of the next school year to help overcome the financial hardships they face. They have also started, an online fundraising page that has attracted past and present attendees to donate funds to help keep the doors open.

“We are a small but determined school to give the students an education they can use,” said Principal Brian Barrett. “We can use new students to help with the funding for all the great new programs we have for students.”

Because Sacred Heart is a private school, its funding does not come from the state like public schools. The burden rests with the school, minus a small stipend from the Diocese. With present funding, Sacred Heart School offers students programs such as computer coding, a 15 to 1 teacher-student ratio, as well as computer and software programming. Extra-curricular activities include violin lessons, ceramics, fine arts and music appreciation.

“Our historical school has made it for many years and we will continue to find ways to reach out to students with programs that makes learning fun and useful,” declared Principal Barrett.