Small private school owner tries to find silver lining despite lower enrollment amid pandemic

Parents holding off on in-person learning

San Antonio – Small private schools say the pandemic is hurting their bottom line as more parents choose to hold off on sending their kids to classes in person, but some advantages are helping them stay afloat.

What we know about reopening schools in San Antonio right now

Katia Edrenkina, the founder of the International School of San Antonio. said her school is launching its first full academic year on Monday.

The school has the potential to serve up to 14 students, but because of the pandemic, many parents are holding off, Edrenkina said.

“The first question (parents) ask is, ‘How many kids do you have in your classrooms? OK, well, if you have less than five, then I’ll join you,’” she said.

The school offers French and Mandarin Chinese language programs. Sandra Pineda, mother to 3-year old Louis, said her son started attending the school before the pandemic, and she feels comfortable with him continuing there because the classroom sizes so small.

“I know the other family, so I feel comfortable sending him, even if I know he might be exposed to [the virus],” Pineda said. “I think it’s just such a small group that he’ll do fine. Yeah, I’m just comfortable with it.”

The school program operates as a small learning pod. The same students remain with one teacher all day. Safety measures are followed, and the teachers wear a mask.

Edrenkina says the newly formed school was counting on growing its population, so its bottom line is hurt, but she feels confident they will survive.

The French school begins classes after Labor Day.

The school has also posted resources online to assist families with helping their children learn to read at home.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.