St. Stephen’s school expecting a full house
by Christine Dell’Amore
Post Independent Staff
St. Stephen’s Catholic School expects to fill each seat with a child for its fall term this year.
As of today, at least 95 students have registered, compared to only 20 at this time last year, said Tom Alby, principal of the private school in Glenwood Springs since 2003.
“There seems to be a rebirth with our little school,” Alby said. “This year we’re way ahead of what we’ve ever been.”
The pre-K-8 school anticipates enrolling close to 110 students, with nearly all 75 of the current pupils continuing their education at St. Stephen’s.
The sudden boom in enrollment could be attributed to Alby’s personal efforts to widen St. Stephen’s recognition in the area, he said.
“I helped get rid of rumors that we were going to close,” Alby said. “I called parents on a daily basis if they didn’t get their students registered. I made that my primary passion from March through April.”
It was the school’s small class size and “homeliness” that attracted Kerri Powell, a homemaker in Glenwood Springs, to enter her soon-to-be 6-year-old son into one of two kindergarten classes this fall.
“I like the one-on-one they can get with the teacher, and that the teacher can actually get to know the kids,” Powell said.
But the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 has also reduced class sizes in public schools, said Michael Bair, director of the district’s board of education. For example, Carbondale Elementary has lowered class sizes to 13 or 14 students, he said.
In addition, the growth of standards-based education in public schools, in which all students meet a specific goal by a certain age, has produced “dramatic and exciting” results in children’s learning, Bair said.
“In current education programs, a standards-based education is the wave of future,” he said.
But Powell says she feels people are realizing alternatives to public education exist.
“If people can afford it, they want to give the children the best education,” she said. “St Stephen’s, being so small, would give (students) the challenges they need.”
Contact Christine Dell’Amore: 945-8515, ext. 535
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