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March  6,  2012

Non-public schools continue
to lose students to public ones

Public school enrollment statewide grew by 1.2% this academic year with virtually all of the increase attributable to a continued decline in the number of children being educated in religious and other non-public grade and high schools, according to the Delaware Department of Education.

Schools operated by the Catholic diocese continued to have the largest attrition, which officials say reflects the state of the local and natonal economies. Two schools -- Pope John Paul near Bellefonte and St. Paul in Wilmington -- were closed this year and three in suburban New Castle County -- St. Catherine of Siena, St. Matthew and Corpus Christi -- were consolidated as All Saints in Elsmere.

Schools report enrollments as of Sept. 30, but the department does not issue its report until several months later.

Following are some of the data issued in the annual DelDOE report:

Enrollment -- elementary & secondary grades
  Sept. 2011 Sept. 2010 Change
Diocesan Catholic 7,211 7,836 -8.0%
Private Catholic 2,250 2,329 -3.4%
Other religious 5,479 5,601 -2.2%
Independent private 7,855 8,038 -2.3%
All non-public 22,795 23,804 -4.2%
Public 130,002 128,503 1.2%
Total enrollment 152,797 152,307 0.3%
Enrollment by district of residence
  Public Non-public* Pct. Non-public*
Appoquinimink 9,433 1,555 14.2%
Brandywine 10,801 2,960 21.5%
Christina 16,848 4,238 20.1%
Colonial 9,855 1,719 14.9%
New Castle Vocational 4,759 -- --
Red Clay 16,103 4,937 23.5%
Charter schools 7,807 -- --
Total New Castle County 74,818 16,231 17.8%
Total state 130,002 20,842 13.8%
*Delaware residents only      
Enrollment in selected schools
  Sept. 2011 Sept. 2010 Change
Albert Einstein 46 41 12.2%
Archmere Academy 480 475 1.1%
*Charter of Wilmington 970** 970 ?     
Concord Christian 168 172 -2.3%
*Delaware Military 559 549 1.8%
Immaculate Heart 496 455 9.0%
*Odessy 500 424 17.9%
Padua Academy 597 546 9.3%
Pope John Paul II 173
*Reach Academy 266 221 20.4%
St. Edmond Academy 217 243 -10.7%
St. Mark 1,082 1,224 -11.6%
St. Mary Magdalen 497 493 0.8%
Salesianum 981 1,023 -4.1%
Sanford 582 561 3.7%
Tatnall 614 596 3.0%
Tower Hill 708 694 2.0%
Ursuline Academy 495 508 -2.6%
Wilmington Christian 461** 461 ?     
Wilmington Friends 709 728 -2.6%
Wilmington Montessori 132 151 -12.6%
*public charter school
** as reported by the school, according to DelDOE
 
SOURCE: Delaware Department of Education

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Read previous Delaforum article: Non-public schools losing students at an accelerated rate

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