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Catholic school enrollment remains flat in Diocese

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SAN BERNARDINO—The number of students enrolled in the 27 Catholic schools of the Diocese continues to hover around 7,500, according to statistics released by the Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools for the 2017-18 year.

 Patricia Vesely, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese, said the flat enrollment numbers actually compare favorably to the overall trend in California and the nation.

 “It’s good in light of other dioceses across the state and the last Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) report,” she said. “Enrollment was down across the country.”

 The Fall 2017 CARA Report cites enrollment statistics from the National Catholic Educational Association showing a two percent enrollment drop nationwide. 

 In the Diocese of San Bernardino there are three fewer students enrolled in Catholic schools this year than last year. Overall, 14 schools reported enrollment drops, 11 reported enrollment increases and two reported the same enrollment as the previous year.

 Elementary schools are down 35 students with three schools experiencing significant drops. St. Edward School in Corona has seen its enrollment decline by 40 students, St. Hyacinth Academy in San Jacinto is down 28 students and St. Thomas the Apostle School in Riverside has experienced a drop of 24 students. These declines were somewhat balanced by increases at Sacred Heart School, Rancho Cucamonga (up 26 students), Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Riverside (up 17), Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Indio (up 17) and Our Lady of Lourdes, Montclair (up 15).

 Overall enrollment in the three Catholic high schools of the Diocese is up 38 students, largely because of an increase at Aquinas High School, San Bernardino (up 36). The school’s freshman class of 130 students is its largest in 25 years.

 Preschool enrollment in diocesan schools and parishes increased slightly, from 612 to 629 students.