St. Patrick School in North Park has advertised throughout the pandemic that it offers “real school.” / Photo by Adriana Heldiz
St. Patrick School in North Park has advertised throughout the pandemic that it offers “real school.” / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

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As public schools across the county transitioned to online learning over the past year, enrollment in local Catholic schools offering in-person classes hit an all-time high.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, Catholic schools at all grade levels saw a net increase in enrollment of at least 5 percent during the 2020-2021 school year, with hopes that trend could continue in the fall.

St. Augustine High School, an all-boys Roman Catholic private school in North Park, said it received more than 300 applications for prospective incoming freshmen and requests to transfer in from other schools tripled. The school was aggressive in its push for in-person education and even filed a lawsuit in August against Gov. Gavin Newsom seeking to prohibit the enforcement of shutdown orders.

“Parents saw how psychologically devastating being off campus was, so they sided with schools that had a plan,” said Paul Sipper, the school’s director of admissions. 

The push for in-person learning piqued the interest of parents looking at the educational system through pandemic-weary eyes, writes contributor Jennifer McEntee. 

California’s Great Re-Opening Isn’t for Everyone

State and county leaders celebrated Tuesday the end of most pandemic-related restrictions, as City New Service reported, making for some normal and some surreal photo ops, and leaving room for the AP to outline which rules and restrictions are still in place

But one group of people who aren’t celebrating the end of government-imposed mask mandates and other restrictions are people who would like to be vaccinated but can’t because they’re immunocompromised or suffering from other medical conditions, as Claire Trageser reports for KPBS.

As most people can now go maskless in grocery stores or other public areas, those who can’t take the vaccine feel like they’ve been left behind by a public health guidance that’s ready to put the pandemic in the rear-view mirror. 

We have not done a great job thinking about people with disabilities, we’ve only thought about the able-bodied throughout this pandemic, and that isn’t changing now,” said Rebecca Fielding-Miller, an epidemiologist at UC San Diego.

In Other News

  • Mexico received a donation of 1.35 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine from the United States Tuesday. Mexican officials said there’s no reason to restrict border travel once the vaccines have been distributed. (Associated Press)
  • Included in the city of San Diego’s new budget was the creation of an Office of Child and Youth Success, a program pitched and championed by Councilman Raul Campillo that will spend its $350,000 annual allotment trying to connect people between 16 and 24 to existing support services in the region. (KPBS)
  • San Diego home builders had one of their most productive quarters in years, but housing experts say it still doesn’t come close to what is needed. (Union-Tribune)
  • Ten pounds of plastic explosives disappeared from a Southern California military base in January, but they’ve now been located, which is preferable to every conceivable alternative, if you think about it. (Union-Tribune)
  • An actor was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sex trafficking and conspiracy, a longer term than prosecutors sought in the high-profile “GirlsDoPorn” case, as the Union-Tribune reported. NBC7 San Diego has for years investigated the case, in which men coerced young women into participating by falsely claiming the videos were for DVDs sent overseas that would never appear on the Internet.
  • The state court system spent nearly $2 million settling sexual harrassment, retaliation and discrimination claims brought against court employees between 2018 and 2020, the Union-Tribune reports.

The Morning Report was written by Andrew Keatts. 

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