The abrupt decision by Fenwick High School to terminate the lease of the Rose K. Goedert Center for Early Childhood Education, just 18 months into a 5-year agreement, is a matter of deep concern and disappointment. This move, enabled by an unpublicized 2-year exit clause, is a betrayal of the commitment made to our community by both Fenwick and Dominican University.

This decision by Fenwick is not merely a contractual issue; it represents a significant shift in its community priorities, favoring short-term objectives over long-term educational integrity and community welfare. The Goedert Center, more than a child-care facility, has been a foundation for early childhood education in our area and a training ground for future educators for 50 years. The loss of such an institution is a massive setback for our community’s commitment to nurturing young minds.

The premature closure of the Goedert Center is a reflection of a misplaced priority, one that puts immediate gains over the educational and developmental needs of our children. This action by Fenwick High School contradicts the spirit of their initial 5-year commitment and undermines the trust placed in them by the community — not to mention leaving hundreds of families without child-care and preschool plans beyond June 2024. (This school runs on a continual waitlist, with the 2-year-old class for two years from now well on its way to being full.)

I urge the Fenwick board and the community to reconsider this decision. We must stand up for our community values and the future of our children. It’s imperative that we hold our institutions accountable and advocate for the continuity of the Goedert Center.

As a Dominican University alumna, parent of a Goedert grad, and a community member, I call upon fellow alumni, parents, educators, and concerned citizens to voice their concerns. We must ensure that our community’s commitment to nurturing future generations remains steadfast.

Let’s come together to advocate for the Goedert Center and uphold the values of education that define us.

In caritas et veritas,

Laurie Christofano
Elmwood Park resident
Oak Park employment

Join the discussion on social media!