SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Area private schools are working through a growing trend of increased enrollment numbers.
As more and more families potentially make the switch, it’s causing private schools to have to discuss more expansion projects.
“We have a second building next to us that has an upper floor that is completely empty,” said Wendy Wright with Gloria Deo Academy. “We would like to add 10 classrooms up there, which would include two science labs. We keep our tuition fairly low, so we raise money to fund those things. We will be looking to raise several million dollars to get that project done.”
At New Covenant Academy, leaders said they also have seen the growth over the years.
“I think the only thing holding us back is we’re starting to run out of space,” said Matthew Johnson with New Covenant Academy. “Some of our grade levels are completely at capacity. Now we start thinking, are we building or not building.”
Johnson said the potential is there to expand at each campus.
“Weighing out what we can build at a reasonable price, without actually driving up our tuition,” said Johnson.
Both schools said the COVID-19 pandemic may play into the decision for families to join a private school.
“I would say we had a lot more inquiries during and after COVID than we had before,” said Wright. “I’ve been in education for 17 years,” said Johnson. “I’ve never heard of parents being so involved in the curriculum of a course until after the pandemic.”
Both leaders can agree there might be some reasoning as to why.
“It took parents into the role of being some level of teacher,” said Johnson. “I think parents and families started to realize how important education is.”
“I think there have been some changes in public schools that some families probably, maybe they don’t align with their values,” said Wright.