ROCHESTER - While some cities and towns debate whether or not to fully open their schools to onsite learning, a private Rochester school has made the commitment to open its doors to students on Sept. 1 and is also offering a tuition grant for transferring students.
St. Elizabeth Seton School, a prekindergarten-eighth grade Catholic school, has about 15 spots available for incoming and transferring students, school Principal Suzanne Boutin said today.
She said the decision was made to welcome students back after talking to children and families as well as looking at data and guidelines for opening offered from the Governor's Office and the diocese.
"Looking at reports and listening to our school family, we learned that students have greatly missed the in-person social aspects of school," she said. "Some did well (with online learning) but for others it was a struggle. The fact is they want to be back, and we want them back."
She said only one teacher had expressed concern about returning to school. They have decided on another avenue, Boutin said.
The grant program, part of the Diocese of Manchester's Transfer Incentive Program, or TIP, gives parents a break on tuition if they enroll between now and Aug. 31.
Any student transferring into grades 1-8 from a non-Catholic school will receive a $1,000 grant off tuition the first year, and $500 off the second year. Any student transferring into grades 9-12 from a non-Catholic school will receive a $2,000 grant off tuition the first year, and $1,000 off the second year.
"We are so excited to welcome our students back in our classrooms this fall and look forward to welcoming new students to our SES family," said Boutin, "The TIP funds will hopefully encourage more families to look at our Catholic school not merely as an option, but the option for their children. This is definitely a win-win situation!"
Annual tuition at St. Elizabeth Seton School is $5,000 if the family is a member of the diocese, $6.000 if they aren't. Boutin noted that if the family attends a Catholic church they are contributing there as well.
The grants are also available to high school students, who would most likely attend Saint Thomas Aquinas in Dover. They could also transfer to Bishop Brady in Concord, Bishop Guertin in Nashua or Trinity High School in Manchester.
St. Elizabeth Seton School, located on River Street in downtown Rochester, is a Pre-K-Grade 8 Catholic elementary school. According to the school, "our mission is to celebrate our Catholic identity and to foster academic excellence in our students. Through mutual respect, each student is encouraged to be a responsible, faithful, contributing member of the community."
To learn more, visit www.sesschool.org