But its community has rallied around the school.
Bonner-Prendergast has $1.4 million in the bank - money raised from parents, students, alumni, and community members, Olson said. Last week, an anonymous donor said that if the school raised $2.5 million, the donor would kick in another $2.5 million.
Olson and principal William Brannick met with another donor group that pledged to make up the difference between the $1.4 million the school already has and the $2.5 million it needs to reach to get the match.
When Olson and Brannick left the meeting, they said, they were stunned.
"This is not what we do - talk to people about millions of dollars," Olson said. "We said to each other, 'Did that just happen?' "
Olson called one of the donors to make sure he had heard right. He had.
"This is the real deal," he said. "We have $5 million."
Olson said he hoped the fund-raising would help sway the committee that will hear and rule on appeals. He also hopes a new partnership with Chestnut Hill College will help the school's chances of staying open.
Chestnut Hill would start offering Bonner-Prendergast students college courses at the high school in the fall. The courses will be offered at a deep discount, Olson said, and open to juniors and seniors, who can accumulate as many as 18 college credits before graduating from high school.
The college will also offer courses to the public at the high school, Olson said.
The money and the college partnership do not assure a successful appeal, Olson said, but they point to a strong plan for long-term viability.
Several other schools have also launched fund-raising campaigns to try to bolster their appeals. St. Hubert's Catholic High School for Girls has raised more than $800,000.
Archdiocesan officials are expected to announce their appeals decisions this week.
Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146 or email@example.com, or on Twitter @newskag. Read her blog, "Philly School Files," at www.philly.com/schoolfiles.