One of the area's oldest all-boys Catholic high schools has entered a new era. St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore is experiencing an enrollment boom. WBFO's Eileen Buckley visited the school Monday to find out about its growth.
As the bell sounded, a few hundred St. Joe's high school students quickly filled the hallways with only four minutes to change classes. Among those students is more than 230 freshmen.
While some schools are struggling with enrollment and cuts to programs, for the first time in a decade, St. Joe's has a waiting list.
"It's very exciting to see the direction St. Joe's has gone since I was a freshman. Seeing a lot of new faces...a lot of new teachers...so it has been very exciting for me," said Peter Laux, a St. Joe's senior.
The school has been offering its college preparatory program for more than 150 years, founded by the Lasallian Brothers.
Laux tells WBFO News he feels ready for college next year.
"Not only the academics I feel are important, I feel St. Joe's has made me into a man well prepared for a career and having a family...really educating the whole person," said Laux.
Despite tuition costs of well over $10,000 per year, 70% of St. Joe's students receive financial aid to attend.
This school season, St. Joe's has expanded its academics departments and added new faculty.
Canaan Clark is among 11 new hires. He is a school counselor.
"I love the fact that the boys were a shirt and tie every day, they, you know are clean shaven, that they are instilled with the great things that I was brought up which is the great morals of respect," said Clark. "And really strive to be a role model for the community."
The school also launched a new iPad 1-to-1 program, made possible through a generous donation from an anonymous alumnus.
Steve Koniarczyk is a technology integration specialist at the school who is working to get an iPad in the hand of every student.
"All students in grades 9 through 12 will receive an iPad or have already done so," said Koniarczyk. "We're thinking college, we're beyond college. 94% of the Fortune 500 companies have implemented some type of iPad program already."
And to use those iPads, a state-of-the-art wireless internet infrastructure throughout the building.
St. Joe's total current enrollment is approximately 800 students.