St. Stephen’s numbers surge | PostIndependent.com

St. Stephen’s numbers surge

Ivy Vogel

Growth among schools in the valley isn’t limited to public schools.In the past year, St. Stephen’s Catholic School in Glenwood has grown 40 percent, said principal Thomas Alby.During the 2003-2004 school year 75 students were enrolled at St. Stephen’s, Alby said.This year, the school has 105 students and is expecting to get even larger.”The growth is great but as with any school, it causes some growing pains,” Alby said.St. Stephen’s is small and it’s privately funded, which creates problems in a time of growth. The facility can’t hold many more students, and the student’s tuition, $2,700 a year for parish students and $3,600 a year for non-parish students, covers half of education costs, Alby said.If St. Stephen’s continues to grow, it will also need to hire more staff, Alby said.St. Stephen’s is a home away from home for students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.Historically, class sizes become thinner as the students reach middle school because the students want to play sports for public schools, Alby said.However, last year St. Stephen’s didn’t have a seventh-grade class and this year, it has 20 seventh-graders.”We’re not competing with public schools,” Alby said. “It’s good to have alternative schools for parents to choose from.” Many students attend St. Stephen’s because it’s more intimate than public schools, Alby said.On average, each classroom has 13-14 students. Depending on the grade level, public schools generally have classes of at least 20 students. Both Roaring Fork School District Re-1 and Garfield County School District Re-2 are trying to reduce classroom sizes.”Everyone in the valley is dealing with growth,” Alby said. “It doesn’t matter where the school is.”Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. 534ivogel@postindependent.com


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