Catholic schools in the Capital Region of New York near Albany are reporting significant growth in enrollment with a 4% increase from the previous year. This enrollment surge is occurring at the same time as public schools in the region have seen an average decrease of 2.3% according to a report by the Empire Center.
According to the Diocese of Albany, some individual schools are even seeing enrollment spikes that reach 25%. While there are many factors that have contributed to this historic growth, school leaders believe that their handling of COVID tops the list.
Reports from across the country have shown that virtual learning and school cancellations due to COVID have had a detrimental effect on students. As parents continue to see test scores drop and students lagging behind, Christian schools are taking the opportunity to differentiate themselves.
We love seeing #firstdayofschool photos! Hope everyone had a great first day. #FirstDayRCDA Blessed Sacrament School Diocese of Albany Catholic SchoolsPosted by Diocese of Albany on Thursday, September 9, 2021
“We made it through last year, where only two days we had to quarantine the entire school,” said Tosha Grimmer, Principal of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish School in Schenectady, “and our safety protocols are great, and we’re able to keep the kids engaged and in school.”
Another area school, St. Pius X, is able to utilize their track record of holding in-person classes every single day last school year to attract more families. This is especially important for parents as kids across New York and the country are forced back into remote learning due to COVID outbreaks and school bus shortages.
The Catholic Diocese of Albany includes 25 schools ranging from pre-K through 12th grade. The schools are dedicated to creating and maintaining “school communities imbued with Catholic values that inspire personal growth and social justice, recognize and nurture the spirituality of each individual, and provide a safe and loving environment.”