MECHANICSVILLE, Md. (Aug. 29, 2016)—Mother Catherine Academy, the only independent Catholic school serving southern Maryland, passed last year's opening day enrollment record by 12 percent on its opening day with 158 students enrolled in grades preK through 8.
The Academy, now in its second year, started the 2016 school year Aug. 24 with 158 students. The enrollment growth is part of a trend that began in 2012 by the former Mother Catherine Spalding School, an archdiocesan run school operated in the same building until 2015. Unofficial records show previous opening day student counts as 121 in 2013, 125 and 2014, and 141 in 2015.
School officials attribute the growth to a vibrant community that includes students, parents, their extended families, and dedicated alumni. That strong community, coupled with an outstanding faculty and robust athletic and extracurricular program, has reinvigorated the school. The school also benefits from its convenient yet quiet location on Chaptico Road, just a mile off Route 5.
"I am humbled by the commitment of this community. From the parents, the local churches and businesses to the students, the Mother Catherine community is determined in keeping our school viable. It is a school that has a long tradition rooted in Southern Maryland, and an even brighter future," said Anthony Wojt, principal of Mother Catherine Academy.
In an Aug. 23 letter to parents, Bill Leonard, president of the school's board of trustees, wrote, "We have so much for which to be thankful. We remain blessed with extremely dedicated faculty and staff who work so hard to create a nurturing, learning environment; one in which our students not only learn the Good News of the Gospel but experience it every day in the classroom as well."
"With the support of our five local parishes as well as the Archdiocese of Washington, we have proven that the new MCA business model works. Financially, we ended our inaugural school year firmly in the black. After experiencing significant enrollment growth last year compared to the most recent years of our legacy school, enrollment for the new school year exceeds even that and continues to increase every week."
The Academy has an open enrollment program and school tours and student shadow days are available by appointment. An open house is scheduled for Sept. 18 from 1 to 3 pm. The school's popular "TrunkorTreat" community event will be held Oct. 28 from 7 to 9 pm. For more information or to schedule a tour, interested families can call the school office at 301 884.3165 or visit mothercatherine.org .