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Some Area Private Schools Report Enrollment Increase for 2011-2012

Despite poor economy, Renbrook, Northwest Catholic see gains, while others have small decreases in enrollment.

This week, 76th year opened with 436 students. That is good news, according to Head of School Dr. Armistead Webster.

“While just holding steady is an achievement these days, we have more students this year than last,” Webster said, in a press release from the West Hartford independent day school for students in PreK-Grade 9.

Enrollment is up overall – from 430 to 436 students. According to Amy Clemons, director of admission and financial aid, Renbrook has seen an almost 10 percent increase in the Beginning School (three-year-olds, Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten) from 72 students last year to 77 this year. Renbrook’s Beginning School added to its faculty, and hired three teachers and a business office staffer.

Clemons said she attributes the increase in the Beginning School in part to the additional programs Renbrook has held on campus for that age group, including “Mommy & Me” classes in music and nature and  library activities.

The increase in overall enrollment represents a significant trend for the school. Clemons noted that during the past decade, “the numbers have trended down. This is the first year we have a modest increase.”

This year, Renbrook has enrolled six new international students – three from China and three from Korea. Clemons indicated that the school previously may have had a single Korean student – and that was only every few years. Some families have moved here with their children. In other cases, the foreign students are being hosted by local families.

Enrollment figures for the current academic year are mixed at a selection of other private/parochial schools in West Hartford.

At , a private school for grades 9-12, there is an increase of 18 students from last year’s enrollment of 624 students, for a total this year of 642 high schoolers.

Nancy Scully Bannon, director of admissions at NWC, said, “Even in these difficult times, families still value a faith-based, college prep education. We work very hard with families to make their dream become a reality.”

NWC is known for “outstanding academics,” she added. “People are impressed with our college placements and feel they are investing in a great education.”

Among other reasons for the increase in enrollment, said Bannon, is the strong alumni network, small class sizes, a wide range of extracurricular activities and ongoing renovations.

Total enrollment at the independent prep school , is 496 students, said Sonya Adams, director of communications. This year, overall, they are down by 10 students. Enrollment is slightly up in the Middle School (150 students in grades 6-8), but slightly down in the Upper School (346 students in grades 9-12).

According to Jim O’Donnell, director of enrollment management, KO had a strong admission season but graduated a large class in 2011, leading to the slight decrease in the Upper School enrollment.

Enrollment at the in West Hartford, an independent Jewish day school, is steady at 149 students, about the same as last year, according to Sara Steiner, admissions director. This enrollment is for the entire school, from early childhood (2 year old) to Grade 8.

At in West Hartford, there has been a decrease in enrollment of 24 children, for a total enrollment of 164.

School officials blame the poor economy for the decrease in enrollment at the private Catholic school for preK-Grade 8.

“I believe the economy has a lot to do with losing children to public [schools],” said Jane Kallinich, administrative assistant at St. Brigid.

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