Calgary private schools see increased interest ahead of new school year
Published Friday, August 21, 2020 8:52PM MDT
CALGARY -- Some Calgary parents are considering spending up to $18,000 or more on private school tuition to guarantee smaller class sizes in the upcoming school year.
“We have seen an increase in interest for sure,” said Jocelyn Forrester, vice-principal at Delta West Academy in Bridgeland.
“I think there’s a lot of parents that are concerned with the number of students, not only in their child’s class but in their entire school.”
Forrester said the K-12 school has 91 students enrolled so far for the new school year and classes are capped at 12 students.
“We are an intentionally small school, that’s part of our mission here is to have a really low student to teacher ratio, just so we have that one on one time with our students," she said.
Delta West said the school has spaced lockers and is looking at staggering entry, along with using different entrances so not everyone is entering or leaving the school through the same space.
“Safety is our number one priority. We want to be back in the classrooms and we want our students back in the building,” said Forrester.
Renert School in northwest Calgary is also getting more inquiries right now.
“It’s unusual for us to have a lot of interest at this point but we’ve got a lot of people attending information sessions still. There is one this Sunday, 80 people plus have registered,” said Alice Humeny, vice-principal at Renert School.
She added those information sessions will be virtual.
Humeny said Renert School has already seen an increase in enrolment compared to last year. She said smaller class sizes is one appeal of private schools.
“We have about 15 in our classrooms. We have lots of space. The building is built for over 700," she said.
"We might have 500 students this year so space is on our side."
Staff at Renert School are still fine-tuning their safety handbook with the help of an Alberta Health Services Inspector.
“We ran summer camps this summer, so that allowed us to test a lot of these protocols and what worked really well, what needed to be tweaked,” said Humeny.
Students who wish to continue with online learning have that option in September and won’t be locked in.
Humeny said teachers will be tested for Covid-19 before students return to school.
That is also the case at Webber Academy in southwest Calgary. The school will also be checking temperatures at the front door.
Neil Webber, president and head of school tells CTV there has been an increase in interest in applications.
Webber will welcome back roughly 950 students, the same number as last year. Classes will only be in-person as Webber Academy is not offering online learning.