Read: Diocese of Lansing Schools record year-on-year enrollment growth

Catholic Schools across the Diocese of Lansing have recorded year-on-year growth in student numbers for the first time in more than two decades with enrollment growing by 8% over the past two years. Deo gratias.

“This is Discover Catholic Schools Week and, certainly, these latest enrollment numbers suggest that more and more families across the Diocese of Lansing are discovering our schools and liking what they find in terms of culture, curriculum and community,” says Tom Maloney, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Lansing, November 15, Feast of Saint Albert the Great.

“Thank you to all the staff, families and students who pray and work so hard throughout the year to make our schools boldly Catholic and academically rigorous – may God continue to bless your endeavors in the year to come.”

The Diocese of Lansing contains 35 Catholic schools spread across 10 counties including four regional high schools. In total, diocesan schools educate over 8,000 students.

The largest annual increase in enrollment is to be found in early years with a 15% rise in pre-kindergarten student numbers. The total number of students in all years rose by 3% over the past year with 24 of 35 schools witnessing increased enrollment. That includes three out of four diocesan regional high schools. This year’s figures build upon last year’s 6% rise in enrollment. Many schools report an influx of students from the public school system.

“In recent years I think we’ve seen Catholic schools increasingly reclaim an authentic Catholic vision of education which is fundamentally about forming the whole person: docens modum vivendi, teaching a way of life,” says Dominic Iocco, pictured, President of Lansing Catholic High School which recorded an annual 3% increase in enrollment.

“Importantly, that includes partnering with the family so as to reinforce the values of the home and it’s that vision, and that partnership, that are reinvigorating our understanding of Catholic education and really starting to make a difference in terms of enrollment.”

In terms of percentage growth, top of the list this year is Saint Joseph Catholic School in Howell with a 31% increase in student numbers over the past year. Some schools have also continued to show impressive levels of sustained growth. Over the past four years, for example, enrollment numbers at Huron Valley Catholic School in Ypsilanti are up 50%; at Holy Rosary Catholic School in Flint that figure is 55%; meanwhile at Saint Mary Catholic School in Williamston the increase over the same period is 83%, yielding the school its largest enrollment in 20 years.

In a continuing effort to make a Catholic education more affordable, this year saw the Diocese of Lansing institute a new scholarship aimed at helping Hispanic families access Catholic schools. In its first year, the Saint Sanchez del Rio Scholarship awarded $54,000 to families in need. The fund operates under the patronage of Saint Sanchez del Rio (1913-1928), a Mexican teenager who was put to death by government officials because he refused to renounce his Catholic faith.

This new scholarship bolsters the already-existing Venerable Augustus Tolton Scholarship which aims to increase the number of Catholic African American students in the Diocese of Lansing’s schools.

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