Despite school closures and restrictive regulations, the educational establishment’s response to the pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Christian schools whose enrollment skyrocketed.
One such institution is Homestead Christian School of North Carolina, which was founded in 2022.
In their first year, Peggy Hester and Ivey King, the school’s administrator and president respectively, not only found a building but filled it to full capacity. They are now planning to buy the neighboring building, doubling their space for next year.
“Enrollment is really starting to pick up,” said Hester. “We are receiving messages and phone calls on an almost daily basis now. We are right on track to meet, and possibly surpass, our goals for the coming year.
“God is continuing to open doors for our school and we are so excited to see what the future holds!” she concluded.
Columbus Christian School in Indiana has a similar story.
It too started in the fall of 2022 and had 49 students. But according to the school’s administrative assistant, 70 students are already enrolled for next year.
“CCS is a wonderful reflection of God’s love,” said Angie Donnell, the principal. “The main focus is excellent Christ-center instruction and love for one another in all that we do and say. There are no words to express the love of God’s people at Columbus Christian.”
As more students enroll, Columbus, which currently offers pre-K through 5 classes, is planning to add 6th grade, with hopes to become a full K-12 institution in the future.
While the pandemic regulations fueled interest in private schools, they also generated huge momentum for the school choice movement.
Now that Iowa has implemented universal school choice, the state’s private schools are expecting a large influx of students.
Chassidi Martin, co-founder of Royal Legacy Christian Academy, said the school, which currently has 36 students, is preparing to receive 120 students in the upcoming year.
“One of the main reasons we started Royal Legacy Christian Academy was so that families could have an option in education,” she said. “We wanted to make a Christian school available and affordable and accessible for families, regardless of household income.
Martin praised the school choice bill, saying, “It allows them to make that choice. It empowers families to say, ‘You know, I want my tax dollars to follow MY student, instead of just going automatically to the public school in my district whether or not my child is going there.”
Private and parochial schools in Louisiana have also grown in leaps and bounds since before the pandemic.
Nearly three-quarters of Christians schools have experienced some growth, while 9 have added more than 100 students.
Northlake Christian School led the pack with 306 new students in just 3 years.
As more and more states create and expand their school choice programs, it is likely that private and Christian school enrollment will continue rising at record pace.