Enrollment continues upward trend in diocese

By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger


Overall enrollment in Catholic schools of the Diocese of Davenport grew for the fifth straight year in 2017-2018. “We certainly hope steady growth is due to parent satisfaction with the environment in our schools and programs we offer as well as the opportunity to have a faith-filled day,” said Lee Morrison, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools.

He noted that the School Tuition Organizations (STOs) and additional financial aid through schools and parishes have helped maintain positive enrollment figures. “We are very pleased,” Morrison said.

Regina Elementary in Iowa City had the highest gain at 30 students this school year compared with the previous year. Principal Celeste Vincent said about half of that increase was due to new families to the Iowa City area and the other half transferred from the public school system in the area. “We are finding more people want to send their children to Catholic schools. Many are also looking for a whole K-12 picture.”

Vincent said enrollment is always changing at Regina and area public schools due to movement at the University of Iowa. “People are moving in and out of Iowa city due to the university.”

The kindergarten class at Regina is currently full, she noted.

The other school with a big increase was Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic School in Muscatine. Most of that increase was due to the addition of a seventh-grade class this school year.

Some of the 18 school buildings in the diocese experienced losses, often because of a large class graduating and a smaller class entering this year.

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