Record enrollment

Mikayla Coulombe

With a record enrollment of 1205 students and a waiting list that built up over the summer, BSM proves it can defy the bad economy.

Despite its capacity of 1200 students, BSM’s enrollment––which in 2008 was at just 1174––has been growing steadily and increased significantly to 1203 for the 2009-2010 school year, capping off at 1205 in fall 2010.

The admissions department found that the majority of the BSM community originally discovered the school through recommendations and praise by fellow friends and family members. “We’ve been conducting research as to why families choose BSM and are now making what we like to call data-driven decisions,” said Ms. Kate Leahy, Director of Admissions at BSM.

In 2008, the BSM Admissions Department started researching why their numbers had been increasing. They discovered that around that time there was a failed referendum within the Robbinsdale School District resulting in the cancellation of some sports teams and an increase in class sizes, said Ms. Leahy.

Using this information to their advantage, BSM has started recruiting current parents to hold parties for the benefit of interested families. Dr. Bob Tift and Dr. Sue Skinner will often attend in order to answer any questions or concerns and play their part in the promotion of the school.

In addition, these parents have also revealed what they like best about BSM. They all seem to agree that BSM’s quality academics, Catholic education, sense of community, strong athletics and extra curriculars, smaller size, college prep, and caring faculty and staff put the school above the rest, said Ms. Leahy.

These seven characteristics will be the main focus of a new admissions brochure for next year, which will help cater to exactly what these new families are looking for.

However, despite the expansion and improvement of the recruitment techniques, Ms. Leahy confirms that BSM has reached its limit. Until the building of the new junior high begins, BSM is not getting any bigger, and even then there is no guarantee of more space for interested students.

Students have mixed feelings about the addition of so many peers in the hallways, but they seem to be able to see both perspectives of the situation. “It has good and bad sides. The good is you have more opportunity to meet new people and maybe make our sports teams better and stuff, but the bad is they make ridiculous rules to accommodate it like no backpacks,” said senior Bryan Febel.

Even this year’s BSM freshmen have already noticed the effects of the enrollment. “I don’t like the crammed halls, and I feel bad for the people that have to share lockers, but we do get bragging rights on how we’re growing stronger through tough times,” said freshman Danny Tift.

Whatever the viewpoint, the Admissions Department is excited by the prospect of continuing the record enrollment streak and would love to have even more applicants next year. “My goal is to have a waiting list by spring so that I can take the summer off,” Ms. Leahy said.