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Enrollment Boom at St. Sebastian, as Other Catholic Schools Close

St. Sebastian Catholic Academy in Woodside (Photo: Queens Post)

May 9, 2012 Staff Report

Due to the closing of two nearby Catholic schools, St. Sebastian in Woodside will increase enrollment by nearly 50 students in the fall.

Both St. Raphael School, on Greenpoint Avenue in Long Island City, and Corpus Christi School, located on 60th Street in Woodside, will permanently shut their doors at the end of the school year.

As a result, 30 St. Raphael students and 15 Corpus Christi students have registered at St. Sebastian, according to principal JoAnn Dolan. During this school year there were approximately 423 students enrolled at St. Sebastian, a nursery through eighth grade school.

“It certainly helps enrollment for next year,” Dolan said, “although we don’t like to see any Catholic schools close.”

Due to the increase in student numbers there will be two third grade classes in the fall and two sixth grade classes. For the past several years there has only been one class on each grade level.

In addition, there are wait lists for kindergarten (where  two classes are already in place), fourth grade and nursery school.

To handle the increase in demand the school has held numerous open houses and tours, which are encouraged for prospective families.

The next open house is scheduled for Monday, May 14 at 9 a.m. Prospective parents are asked to call the school at 718-429-1982 before attending.

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I think St Sebastian should have affiliated with Corpus Christi in Woodside like it did with Queens of Angels and St Mary’s Winfield so that, the in-parish rate can happen and Corpus Christi parishoners would be more likely to have gone to St Sebastians over Fatima or St Joes. Years down the line, this would have been a great enrollment factor for St Sebastians by having a pipeline of students reaching grammar school age. I think it was a golden opportunity lost for Woodside.



Every single person I know who went to Stuy (at least in the late 90’s – I know a lot Stuy grads) was middle or working class, and from the boroughs. About half were children of immigrants.

Wealthy politicians live in Manhattan and send their kids to private school. I can’t even think of one that doesn’t.


You are right about Stuvesant and Bronx High School of Science – very difficult to get into – but there are some decent non-specialized high schools.


I work in a high school that has metal detectors, but there is a sense of safety and security among the students. I live in a city that allows policemen to search my bag if I want to use the subway. I do not live in a warm and fuzzy world, but one with lots of anger, violence, and aggression.

I understand the value of having a faith and maintaining a level of spirituality in one’s like- I think education should focus on academics. Religion instruction- Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc. ) should be separate from the educational system and all schools be held to the same standards. Just my opinion- as an tax-paying adult who doesn’t have any kids!


I wonder how long St. Sebastan can hold on. There are some good public schools – a lot depends on the parents and the kids and whether they are motivated. I think that LIC is a good school and it is wrong to close it. They have a stong science program.


Casey, yes Catholic grammar schools can be more than some people can afford, or care to. I think the mindset amongst most parents that I talk to is they will send their child to public grammar school and save their money for a private high school. Stuvyesant & Bronx School of Science and the like are reserved for the Chuck Schumers & Eliiot Spitzers of the world who can boast that their child goes to Public high school. If you’re not the child of a politician or wealthy enough to make a big “contribution” you will be vying with thousands for one seat in such a school.


SuperWittySmitty, I too went to both and have to say that I did get a very good public school education. That was many years ago, though. I just wouldn’t feel warm and fuzzy about sending my child to a junior high or high school with metal detectors.

Rocky Balboa II

I like both brands of schools. I wonder for how long St. Sebastian can hold on.


In the long run, I think students are better off in public school. I went to both as a child and received a more balanced education in public school.

Just Looking

Let’s hope it carries on through this downturn, then serves as a source of regeneration when this blight is over.


I remember in the 80’s every grade level had two classes. I guess w/o the nuns, Catholic schools are just too expensive.


I remember when St Sebastian had more than 550 students so I would say that enrollment is down!


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