Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Compiled by Father Tom Caswell, for the Inland Register

(From the Sept. 15, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)

From the Inland Register
Vol. 20, No. 4
50 Years Ago: September 1, 1961

School enrollment to hit all-time high in diocese

Enrollment in grade schools and high schools of the diocese will hit another all-time high next week – with last year’s “all time high” of 11,404 boys and girls expected to soar by at least 400.

All schools in Spokane except Gonzaga Prep open on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Prep’s students start classes today, Sept. 1.

With most classrooms at saturation point, almost every school superior in Spokane city and valley parochial schools predicted upped enrollment based on pre-registration figures.

Although some grade schools have dropped first-grade classes because of crowded conditions and/or the prohibitive expense of additional lay teachers, others have added grades.

For the first time, Our Lady of Fatima School will offer all eight grades. Launched in 1957 with the first four grades, the school has added a grade a year. Enrollment here was 316 in 1960-61, and 380 students already have registered for the current term. At least 20 pupils are on the school’s waiting list.

Assumption, with 261 students registered last year, now offers grades 1-7, will see more than 300 pupils in its classrooms next week. As scheduled on the school’s one-grade-per-year plan, all eight grades will be offered next year.

St. Mary, Veradale, now offering grades 1-7, will see enrollment stepped up to about 240. Last year’s second-through-seventh grades figure was 199. This school also will offer all eight grades in 1962-63.

One new classroom addition is expected to be completed in time for pupils’ arrival next week. Two lay teachers augment the staff of four teaching Sisters.

St. Paschal, with an enrollment of 199 last year, expects at least 275 pupils next week.

St. Peter, which last spring purchased a portable unit from the public school system for use as a classroom and library, anticipates an enrollment jump from 142 up to 210. For the first time, first graders will be accepted, enlarging the program from first to seventh grades.

St. Ann, with first-grade classrooms “at saturation point,” expects its enrollment to jump from 325 to 370. Two new lay teachers have been added to the teaching staff.

St. Aloysius, largest parochial school in the diocese last year, believes registration figures will beat even last year’s record 764. With 16 classrooms and all eight grades, crowded conditions have forced St. Aloysius to limit registrations from schoolless Mary Queen Parish to third graders and up. The school has added a male member to its faculty – Ralph A. Alfireri, who will coordinate boys’ athletics.

Schools that expect to see slightly upped enrollments are St. Xavier, whose new classroom makes a total of 13; Sacred Heart School, and St. Francis of Assisi, which has dropped first graders.

New at Sacred Heart School is an almost-completed gymnasium with showers and dressing rooms for both boys and girls.

Parochial grade schools where registration is expected to be “about the same as last year” are Cathedral, St. Charles, St. Augustine, St. Anthony, and St. John Vianney. Registrations for 1960-61 at these schools were, respectively, 352, 757, 530, 331, and 350.

St. Joseph expects a slight drop in registrations, as does St. Patrick. Crowded St. Patrick, with 512 registered last year, is dropping first-grade classrooms.

At the high school level, Gonzaga Preparatory School will hit its all-time registration high with about 780 pupils – 15 more than last year. Some 90 pupils were turned away. Incoming freshmen number 230. Prep will now have two lay teachers on its faculty, plus 18 “misters.”

Although this school theoretically can accommodate 800 boys, the Very Rev. Francis D. Masterson, SJ, rector, said that many upper class courses have less than the “standard” 35 boys per class. He said that in a program as diversified as Prep’s, it is impossible to keep all classrooms at maximum capacity. The general course has been dropped by Gonzaga Prep, which now offers four programs: scientific, English, classical and honor-classical.

Holy Names Academy expects about 500 girl registrants. Last year’s enrollment was 518. Holy Names Grade School will be about the same – 120. Some 10 percent of the grade-schoolers are boarders. Others come “from all over the city.”

Marycliff, whose new replacement classrooms are scheduled for completion next march, “somehow will crowd in 516 girls,” Sister Superior said. Last year’s registration was 440. For the first time, Marycliff will be offering an honors program of “enriched subject matter,” and a communications arts course for freshmen.


From the Inland Register
Vol. 44, No. 4
25 Years Ago: September 18, 1986

Schools gain programs, students

Back to school for the children in the parish schools of the Spokane Diocese began on an upbeat note. New faces, new programs, new teachers, new principals and colorful new environments spelled excitement.

Eight schools experienced a significant increase in students, and the overall enrollment reflected a diocesan increase of students.

Among the news from schools at the beginning of their year:

• St. Francis Xavier/Assisi has a waiting list for Educare and has applied for a license extension.
• St. John Vianney has new computer and science programs this year, as well as new pre-school and kindergarten programs.
• St. Mary has added a second first grade, a supplementary Resource Teacher, and due to an appraisal of its curriculum program, has new texts for the religious curriculum.
• Guardian Angel has increased first grade enrollment and will soon begin a computer program.
• DeSales has a second section of Art, 18 seniors enrolled in the English Enrichment program, an added Drama section, increased enrollment in the computer class, and is up 38 seniors this year, as opposed to last year’s 21 seniors.
• St. Charles has added a Junior High music program.
• St. Patrick, Spokane, has a Latchkey program in the works; enrollment is up; 30 children are on the waiting list for kindergarten; and has a new school counselor.
• Assumption, Walla Walla, has added a part-time Reading Specialist.
• All Saints Middle School has a Spanish language program in the works.
• Trinity has departmentalized the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade classes so that each teacher is teaching in his/her specialized field of expertise.
• Cataldo will begin a foreign language program after school, has a new science program for grades six-eight, will begin its Annual Giving Drive this month, and parents have donated to fund the new science program.
• St. Aloysius has a new Educare program.
• Gonzaga Prep is busing in 44 students from North Idaho.

(Father Caswell is Inland Register archivist.)


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