By John Suayan | The Center Square
The state of education in New Hampshire in the age of COVID-19 is a tale of two opposites.
Public schools throughout the Granite State are struggling to keep students, while its private schools are enjoying an increase in enrollment.
Building Block Commons in Exeter is among the bevy of private schools that are taking the coronavirus in stride.
With a student body of 100, social distancing would not be a problem. Teachers have ample amounts of personal protection equipment to use, and classrooms have been upgraded to ensure good air flow and hygiene.
Schools like BBC began to appear more appealing to parents who are leery about the more crowded public schools during the ongoing public health emergency.
New Hampshire Public Radio reported that boarding schools are also benefiting from the newfound interest in smaller, more independent schools. With a drop in international student enrollment, local students are given the chance to fill spots that would normally be coveted in normal circumstances.
BBC Director Wren Hayes told NHPR that her school is fielding requests from “desperate” families in the area.
“You just hear it, because you get repeat phone calls,” she told the station.
Chris Yonker and his wife were among the fortunate ones whose children earned a spot at BBC. Their daughter is coming in from public school.
“As soon as we realized in April and May that the virus isn’t [going to] go away, it’s going to be here in the fall, the public systems – they don’t have it together now. … I just didn’t see they were going to have it together the way we want to be part of,” Yonker told NHPR.
Catholic schools have also taken advantage of the purported exodus out of New Hampshire public schools. Many faith-based learning institutions have told the station that they expect their enrollment numbers to spike in the new academic year.