August 12, 2021

All 41 Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Arlington Prepare to Open for Full-Time In-Person  Learning, Welcome Nearly 17,000 Students Back to School

District-Wide Enrollment Jumps More Than 6% Following a Year in Which Diocesan Schools Offered In-Person and Hybrid Instruction Amid Pandemic; High School Sports Set to Begin on Schedule

ARLINGTON, Va. - All 41 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington are preparing to welcome the Diocese's nearly 17,000 students back to full-time in-person learning for the 2021-22 academic year, which begins August 23. This comes after a year in which the diocesan schools successfully offered full-time in-person or hybrid (in-person and virtual) instruction with a host of COVID-19 mitigation strategies in place. Enrollment for the 2021-22 academic year jumped more than 6% over last year's enrollment. Diocesan schools have expanded their staff, hiring additional teachers and administrators to support the increased enrollment.

“This year is a particularly exciting time in Catholic education, as we build off of the many innovations and lessons of the past year to reopen safely once again and to continue to pursue new, creative ways of learning for our students,” said Dr. Joseph Vorbach, Superintendent of Schools, Catholic Diocese of Arlington. “I am grateful for the exceptional talent found within our Catholic schools and the ongoing commitment to provide joyful, engaging and student-centered environments for our learners to grow in faith and knowledge.”

Using planning guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Health, diocesan school leaders have worked closely with local stakeholders to put in place COVID-19 mitigation plans specific to their local communities. Mitigation plans have provisions for schools to scale up or down based on local infection rates and include practices such as face coverings, enhanced cleaning and air filtration.

Saint Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, a Diocesan initiative that supported 150 students last year, continues to offer families a virtual option. The school is now a smaller virtual schoolhouse that is part of Queen of Apostles School in Alexandria. Saint Isidore is still accepting applications for the current academic year here.

While the vast majority of diocesan schools have extensive waiting lists, enrollment is dynamic and interested families are encouraged to make inquiries with their local Catholic schools. For more information on Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington, visit here.

In keeping with a steady return to normal, with proper protocols in place, diocesan high schools are planning for the fall sports season with football, cross-country, cheerleading, volleyball and soccer all in preseason preparation now.

Interested media should contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

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The Catholic Diocese of Arlington was established on August 13, 1974, and is home to 70 parishes and more than 460,000 Catholics. There are currently 276 priests serving in the Diocese and 49 seminarians discerning a priestly vocation. The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools, one virtual school, four diocesan high schools, five independent Catholic schools and three free-standing (not connected with a parish school) pre-schools, serving more than 16,800 students. 

Geographically, the Diocese includes the seven cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester and the 21 counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Westmoreland.