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Private schools see enrollment influx as parents change schools due to mask mandates, critical race theory

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Posted at 6:09 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 19:56:13-04

WESTLAKE, Ohio — ‘Unprecedented’ and ‘school-year’ are quite often used in the same sentence right now, but Courtney Novak says she wanted some consistency for her kids this year.

“Continuity was super important to us as well as being in an environment where they can thrive,” she said.

Novak’s two children are newly enrolled at St. Paul Westlake and said the school's flexible mask policy is what prompted the change.

“I have one kid that may wear a mask sometimes and another child that does not, she finds it as an annoyance,” said Novak.

Apparently, Novak isn't the only one jumping ship, St. Paul's principal says the school is pausing enrollment because it already jumped 18% so far.

News 5 was told that parents referenced mask mandates and critical race theory in other districts as the motive for switching schools.

“We feel like it's best to give families the choice right now,” said St. Paul Principal Jeremy Louden.

Louden calls the increase in students "unprecedented," but explained his staff is ready to provide a quality and consistent education this year.

“It has put a little bit of a squeeze on some of our facilities, which in a private school is a great problem to have,” said Louden. “We’re working through that, our staff has been great, teachers have been great, so just a little squeeze in space.”

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