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Catholic elementary school enrollment in the City of Chicago is growing for the second consecutive year, according to recent results of an annual Office of Catholic Schools survey. With a total increase of 650 students, the past two years' results represent the first positive movement in Chicago’s Catholic school enrollment since 1965. In suburban Cook and Lake counties, student enrollment is stabilizing in many areas.

For the second consecutive year, over half of the 216 elementary schools in the Archdiocese have a stable or growing student population. This growth is happening at the preschool, kindergarten and first grade levels, which are up a combined eight percent from two years ago for an improvement of 1,150 students.

“We have seen extraordinary efforts in the last two years on the part of families, parishes and donors that have contributed to these results, which are also made possible by the commitment of our school administrators, teachers and volunteers working with our students and families,” notes Sr. M. Paul McCaughey, Superintendent of Catholic Schools. These facts are born out, Sr. McCaughey says, by the annual survey results that can be viewed on the Catholic Schools website.

Accompanying the early-grade growth is an increased number of families who are now re-registering their children at a rate of 97.7 percent, up from 95.4 percent two years ago. “As the largest diocesan school system in the nation, our goal remains more students in great Catholic schools, doing what we do best in service to families and the future of our world and church,” said Sr. McCaughey.

Over 86,000 students who attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese and their 6,000 teachers will be putting out the welcome mat at their 216 elementary and 40 high schools during Catholic Schools Week that runs from January 29 through February 5. This year’s theme, Catholic Schools Faith. Academics. Service., will be reflected in open houses and other events throughout the week. Parents or guardians seeking information about these events and Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Chicago are encouraged to visit and click on Catholic Schools.

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