- Associated Press - Monday, April 6, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - In Lafayette Parish, the number of students in private schools is growing.

According to Louisiana Department of Education data, compared to the 2013-14 school year, nine private schools added students this year — Ascension Episcopal, Cathedral Carmel, First Baptist Christian, John Paul the Great, Lafayette Christian Academy, St. Cecilia, Sts. Leo-Seton, Sts. Peter and Paul and Teurlings Catholic.

The other private schools in the parish either had enrollment numbers that were about the same, or changed by only a handful of students between 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The state says more than 8,500 students are now attending private or parochial schools in Lafayette Parish.

The Advertiser reports (https://bit.ly/1Pc2IMk ) St. Thomas More Catholic High School has the highest private school enrollment this year, with 1,076 students. The smallest school is Gethsemane Christian Academy, with 68 students.

St. Thomas More Catholic High School has the highest private school enrollment this year, with 1,076 students. The smallest school is Gethsemane Christian Academy, with 68 students.

Several schools that serve elementary and/or middle school students boast especially high enrollment numbers. For example, 808 students attend Cathedral Carmel School, while 915 students are at Our Lady of Fatima and 728 attend St. Pius Elementary.

According to the state, about 14 percent of all Louisiana students are enrolled in private schools.

In Lafayette Parish, about 31,000 students attend public schools.

While enrollment figures are strong at many local private schools, that’s not always the case. The Diocese of Lafayette announced last month that it will close Trinity Catholic School in St. Martinville in May because of low enrollment. The school has about 172 students this year, but was only able to register about 125 students for 2014-15, which was not enough to keep the school’s doors open.

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Information from: The Advertiser, https://www.theadvertiser.com

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