Private schools seeing uptick in applications, enrollment during pandemic

Education

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Many private schools are seeing an increase in applications and enrollment as some parents look for alternatives to remote learning. Bosque School in Albuquerque is keeping its enrollment at its normal level for social distancing purposes but saw a major uptick in summer applications.

“We typically don’t have a very active summer admissions season. It’s more of a traditional cycle where folks apply by January, they receive their admissions decision by March. We had over 30 families applying in the summer which is really unheard of for us,” Ryan Hannon, Director of Enrollment and Communications at Bosque School said.

Sandia Prep also said it saw a major uptick in summer applications. Inquiries to private schools are still coming in as some districts opt for remote learning for the school year and others face uncertainty when in-person learning will resume.

“We are receiving more inquiries, I had two more middle school inquiries yesterday. But unfortunately, like I said, the middle school is at capacity. So, what we’re doing right now, is we are putting those folks on a waiting list,” Hannon said. “If there is any movement or any way that we’d be able to accommodate those families, we’re keeping them top of mind as we move through this. Because we are a family school, we want to help people. But, again, we need to make sure we have the social distancing measures in place to keep everybody as safe as possible.”

While Hannon said some parents are choosing Bosque because the parents’ kids’ current schools are returning to in-person learning too quickly, many other private schools said parents are calling because they want in-person learning sooner.

Online, many parents are sharing their frustrations with remote learning. Some are posting on Albuquerque Public School’s Facebook page and on Nextdoor saying they’re considering unenrolling in APS or moving to private or homeschooling.

Eastern Hills Christian Academy said it has increased enrollment this year and is hearing from APS parents looking for in-person learning. Bosque is seeing the high demand for private school already carry over into next year.

“Our application went online on September 1 and that, that’s a little different for us. We usually wait until after Labor Day. But, knowing that there’s been so much demand in the school this year, we put it on earlier and overnight, less than 24 hours, we had received applications. Which is again is a little unusual for folks to move that quickly,” Hannon said.

Albuquerque Academy, which is currently online until it can operate higher than 25% capacity, said its enrollment is at the highest its ever been and that it had to close its growing waitlist. Albuquerque Christian Academy is also seeing higher enrollment this year, specifically in its younger, elementary grade levels.

Under the state’s public health order, private schools are operating at 25% capacity and must have COVID-safe practices in place like social distancing and masks.

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