Educator predicts public school students to seek private schooling

Private school sees enrollment increase

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - As more schools open their doors to students, a private school in Jonesboro says they’ve seen an increase in enrollment and foresee it to continue.

Ridgefield Christian School said parents of new students want the smaller classroom setting during the pandemic.

Head of School Matt Brewer said more students will seek this setting as public schools open.

“All the anxiety and nerves as people enter the fall season, they start going back to school and I know that’s fearful for people and parents,” he said. “We’re here, we’re open, we’re going to be safe. We’re going to stay open,” Brewer said.

Twelve to 15 students make up the average classroom size at RCS. The school strives to have small classrooms to ensure one-on-one relationships with teachers and students.

With this goal, Brewer said this will limit the number of new students they can accept.

“At some point, we will say, ‘This is it,’ because we owe it to our parents and our families and our kids to be safe and distant,” he explained.

To keep COVID-19 out of the classrooms, grades 3-12 will be required to wear a mask.

“We’re encouraging our younger ones, Pre-K 3, 4, Kindergarten, First, and the Second grade to wear them and several are. We’re not requiring it,” he said.

In addition to the masks, the school has added sanitization stations to the hallways, added to their custodial staff, and plan to purchase UV light mechanisms.

These UV lights will be inserted into the HVAC systems to kill bacteria. Brewer said these are being donated through parents’ contributions.

He says through the pandemic, RCS will pray for the community and hope others also pray for their safety.

“We’re still going to serve our community; we’re still going to be a light during this time because we believe everyone still needs to see hope and happiness right now,” he said.

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