Kristin Massi describes how distance learning has affected her 10-year-old daughter.
“She was not sleeping, she was suffering from depression, she was not eating well. I reached a point where I realized I had to parent and get up, ”Massi said.
It was then that she decided to withdraw her two children from public school and move on to private education.
“I went to Desert Christian. They were extremely supportive, they were welcoming and it blew me away how quickly she turned around, ”said Massi.
Massi’s decision is reflected in data from public schools in the valley.
PSUSD, DSUSD and CVUSD all saw a more than 2.6% drop in listings this year, which is above the state average.
“We have seen a drop in enrollment this year, unlike any other drop I have experienced, and I have continued for 32 years in our district,” said Brian Murray of PSUSD.
Palm Springs Unified staff say they’ve seen the biggest decrease in the number of lower-grade students and believe a variety of factors are at play.
“We know a lot of this has to do with the low birth rates and also the exodus, if you will, of many families and school-aged children from California,” Murray said.
But while public schools are trending downward, local private schools like Palm Valley, Desert Christian, and Xavier College Prep have seen an increase.
“Our enrollment has jumped about 20% this current school year, and we’re very interested in the future,” said Dr. Steven Sherman, principal of the Palm Valley School.
Due to the cost of private schools, enrollment generally remains stable.
But a recent study finds that the cost of child care rose to $ 16,000 in California during the pandemic, as demand increased with virtual learning, and may have led parents to make the switch.
“I’m happy that we are able to reach and bring more students to our campus, but honestly this is a bigger issue and I feel for all of our students in this tough and tough year,” Dr. Sherman said.