Private schools have filled up across the country. As one administrator noted, “COVID was the final nail in the coffin.”
New York City Catholic schools opted for in-person classes despite the pandemic, which has attracted public school parents.
I found out that other areas across the country have also seen a rise in private school enrollment.
New York City
From The New York Post:
Frustrated by the lack of full-time classes and general public school turmoil during the coronavirus, parents have been turning to them as an alternative.
Michael Deegan, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of New York, said that his schools made the resumption of full-time classes a priority and that parents have been flocking because of it.
“Parents were clearly impressed with our detail and the depth and the specificity of our plan,” he said. “That developed into trust, and the confidence that our parents have in our ability to manage this crisis.”
The pandemic led to a huge spike in online traffic on the Archdiocese of New York’s website.
It has received almost 2,000 applications.
The Catholic schools in Manhatten, the Bronx, and State Island have taken in 1,000 kids.
Deegan pointed out that nothing can “replace the intimacy between a teacher and a child, five days a week.” I must note that nothing can replace the social aspect of school, especially at younger ages.
The Diocese of Brooklyn also saw an increase in interest:
The Diocese of Brooklyn, which also runs schools in Queens, said it too has seen a sharp hike in interest from public school parents who no longer wanted to deal with remote learning.
“Parents want their children to have the opportunity to receive a high-quality, in-person education rooted in the faith, which is exactly what is happening in most of our schools five days a week,” said John Quaglione, spokesman for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The Catholic schools in Oklahoma City have done a terrific job. Each school sent out a booklet before school started, detailing plans and changes.
The schools also offer a choice: in-person teaching, remote learning, or 50/50.
Private school enrollment has gone up in Maryland’s Carroll County:
Enrollment has spiked at Carroll Lutheran School in Westminster with the number of families who have kids in the school doubling, according to Principal Mandy Gilbert.
About 67 students and 45 families attended CLS during the 2019-2020 school year, but now the school is up to 118 students and 90 families. The middle school class has nearly doubled, kindergarten, third and fourth grades have the longest waiting lists and special education population is larger than normal.
Other private schools in the county are experiencing similar increases during the pandemic while Carroll County Public School enrollment numbers have dropped.
Gilbert said that “COVID was the final nail in the coffin” for parents.
Interest in private schools filled up Catholic schools in south New Jersey:
But when many area public schools went to a hybrid learning model for this school year, private schools’ decision to offer more in-class learning presented an alternative for some parents. And that translated into increased enrollment at parochial schools.
“All Catholic schools in South Jersey are either at capacity or over capacity,” said Gregory Freelon, school affairs and development director for Our Lady Star of the Sea in Atlantic City. “Right now, parents want their children to have an engaging academic experience. We (Catholic schools) are open and ready to offer that.”
“At the start of the year, we were getting calls all of the time,” said Carol Spina, principal at Our Lady Star of the Sea. “We have kids here from Ventnor and Mays Landing who were looking for five-day-a-week (in-person schooling).”
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