When enrollment trends at private schools recently took a sharp upward turn, Divine Mercy Academy was ready. The Catholic school in Belgrade just hired four new teachers and completed a capital improvement project, including a two-story addition with new classrooms, common space for assemblies, lunch and school activities, a commercial kitchen area, and restrooms.
DMA’s enrollment rose 28 percent in the past year, with Belgrade and Bozeman students enrolling as well as others from Georgia, Hawaii, Texas, and Colorado. According to a fall New York Times article, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed children out of many public school classrooms, into online instruction, homeschooling, and private schools offering in-person education.
Megan Stout, chair of the DMA board, says, “With the completion of this addition, Divine Mercy Academy expanded instruction into high school and broadened offerings for our preschool and K-8 classrooms. The new space allows us to accept more students in those younger grades, and it freed up a space for a dedicated science lab, which we wanted especially for upper-level science courses.”
The new high school program is based on the Catholic intellectual tradition, offering classes in Theology, Philosophy, Math, Science, Literature, Composition, and History.