The Gregory School enrollment has dropped again for the eleventh straight year, down from 283 to 255 from 2014-2015. Even though Middle School enrollment grew for 2015-16, the upper school lost a net of five students, with a total of just 150 high school students this year.
Last year in an interview with the Chant, Director of Admissions Mary Babbitt said that the administration’s goal for this year was 300 students total, although it isn’t a goal that has been met.
To students, the school already feels smaller, many of them already perceiving a drastic decrease in enrollment from last year to this year. Sophomore Brandi Swenson said, “Enrollment has gone down significantly this year, and my grade feels significantly smaller.”
Nearly a quarter of the Class of 2017 left The Gregory School at the end of last year. According to Babbitt, “Nine rising juniors left The Gregory School, but it is important to note that seven new students joined the junior class at The Gregory School for the 15-16 school year.”
Junior Zakaria Lamri attributed the loss of students to schedule changes made by the TGS administration. “A lot of my friends left TGS to go to other schools, and it seems understandable given the ridiculous schedule, and frankly conflicting Friday rotations,” Lamri said.
Many other students agree that enrollment dropped because of the new schedule, which has only four days of classes per week with Fridays having unconventional educational programs. However, Head of School Dr. Julie Sherrill offers evidence for the reasons some students left that are more diverse.
With the help of Babbitt and newly hired Director of School Advancement Sarajane Trier, the administration has made a concentrated effort to examine each case individually to develop a big picture understanding of why enrollment has dropped.
Sherrill explained, “We have gone through student by student, and we have identified to the best of our knowledge in terms of what families or kids tell us, why people left. We have a whole range of reasons.”
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