MADISON, Wis. — The Diocese of Madison’s Catholic schools this year are experiencing an increasing number of families hoping to enroll students in in-person style learning, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At St. James School, Principal Randy Enders said his elementary and middle schools are near capacity — as schools across the Diocese are maxed out, with long waitlists already.
"The balance of higher enrollment and doing things right is definitely part of it; it's at the forefront of the conversation," Principal Enders said.
He believes nothing compares to the physical classroom experience for children and is grateful his staff of about 20 could help students receive that opportunity, while still offering a virtual option as well.
"The bottom line is when kids are in school learning, it's a fantastic thing to see," he said. "I think, you know, nobody gets into education to sit on a computer all day long and so when you're able to, you know, you see that smile and the kid gets it, gets to do something and you see the teachers interacting with their students. That's what it's about.
“So, on a completely selfish note I'd walk down the halls and just be smiling under my mask because this is this, this got us back to why we're all in education, it's about kids it's about those interactions.”
The school uses social distancing and mask-wearing regulations as well as pod-like learning structures and something else in older grades.
"What we did is we altered our schedule to put it to a block schedule so that there's not quite as many transitions and it's easier to keep track, social distance, and limit the interactions between the different grades," he said.
You can learn more about the Diocese of Madison’s Catholic Schools here.