More Williston parents preferring private schools’ smaller class sizes

WILLISTON, N.D. - As the number of students in Williston’s public schools keeps climbing, so do those in private schools.

Saint Joseph's Catholic School's kindergarten through sixth graders started classes Tuesday. Principal Julie Quamme says enrollment has steadily increased for the past few years, totaling 220 students this fall. They've added two new classes, and hope to add a third next year. Quamme says she's noticed that the area's overcrowding in public schools means more parents are choosing private school.

"I think many families are looking for that smaller class size. It just feels like there's a little bit more individual learning, and a little more individual attention,” said Quamme.

Staff at Williston Trinity Christian School say private schools in the area have lower caps on the number of students in each classroom, which is appealing to many parents.

They’ve also had around a 10% increase in their student population.

Cory Fleck, Williston Trinity Christian School principal and superintendent, said, "We're not at the boom-time numbers, but we're getting close. We’re probably 20 students away, which doesn't seem like a lot for a school, but as a small school it is a lot. We noticed in just the first two days, the difference in number of kids and families at pick-up time.”

Fleck says they will expand their building if the need arises in the future.