Catholic school enrollment up in Lexington, down nationwide

LEXINGTON, Ky. (ABC 36) – The pandemic altered the way education is received in the United States.

Photo Courtesy: Lexington Catholic High School

For some schools, it means virtual learning or safer in person learning…with some forced to close..

According to the National Catholic Educational Association, catholic school enrollment across the Nation has dropped 6.4% from the previous year. That is with a decline of over 110,000 students.

“It’s not an anomaly we all know the catholic numbers in churches are dropping and there’s definitely going to be an impact within the  school system” said Lesley Farmer, VP of Community and School Relations for Lexington Catholic High School.

But for Lexington Catholic High School…its enrollment numbers are actually up.

“It has been a very interesting year for us. The numbers we have clearly planned on have exceeded way beyond what we thought. I think with the current situation, pandemic, happening and public schools not being able to be in person yet…a lot of people looked at us” said Farmer.

They saw 25 new students in the summer and an additional 10 over Christmas.

“For Lexington, we are the only catholic high school and it’s been like that for a very long time. So I don’t know that our impact here is the same as you know Boston or you know those that have huge numbers of Catholics the same way we do” added Farmer.

She says the elementary and middle schools are up as well.

‘We work very closely with our partner schools that are with our elementary and middle and they are all at capacity right now.”

The same can’t be said for other parts of Kentucky.

The Archdiocese of Louisville provided ABC 36 with the following statement.

“Our enrollment numbers decreased by about 6%. Part of that, however, was due to limits on the numbers that could be enrolled in licensed preschool programs due to COVID-19 as well as parent deciding not to enroll children in preschool. Our preschool enrollment was down by about 25% this year versus last year. “

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