While public schools struggle to find a way to continue to offer effective schooling through the coronavirus crisis, many parents in Brooklyn and Queens are moving their children to Catholic schools that offer in-person classes for students.
As Covid cases remain low, for example, enrollment in St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Academy of Queens has increased by 105 students this year, according to principal Catherine Mangone. Seventy-two students came from the recently-closed Queen of the Rosary Catholic Academy in Brooklyn, and 33 from local public schools. Last year’s total enrollment, without nursery students, was 216 — this year, it’s 332, Brooklyn Diocese’s newspaper, The Tablet, reported Dec. 2.
The 69 Catholic schools and academies across Brooklyn and Queens are adhering to health safety guidelines with an in-person and remote hybrid model. Thirty-three St. Stanislaus Kostka students are currently attending the St. Thomas Aquinas Distance Learning program, according to The Tablet.
Between September and December, 173 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in academies and schools across the diocese of Brooklyn, according to the state’s online “report card” database. The data was last updated on Nov. 30.
St. Kevin Catholic Academy in Flushing — which has 302 students learning under a hybrid model — saw a “very big jump in enrollment,” according to principal Allison Murphy. About 50 new students across kindergarten and eighth grade enrolled, with 10 children transferring from closed Catholic schools and the remainder coming from local public schools, The Tablet stated.
Similar increases in enrollment for Catholic schools have been seen throughout the country as parents seek in-person learning for their children. Catholic schools in Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, and Virginia have all seen a rise in students.