Catholic schools in Diocese of Arlington see increased enrollment for third year in a row

Arlington, Va. - On Wednesday, August 23, the Diocese of Arlington will begin welcoming back more than 18,400 students to the 50 Catholic schools in the Diocese, including pre-K programs, parish elementary schools, diocesan high schools and recognized independent Catholic schools. This is the third consecutive year diocesan Catholic schools have seen an increase in enrollment. In total, Catholic schools of the Arlington Diocese have seen a 10% increase in student population since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

“The foundation of authentic Catholic education is a commitment to the Faith and its teachings. I am so grateful to the parents, teachers, faculty, and staff who renew their promise to embrace the Faith through Catholic education each year,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington. “Our teachers selflessly offer their time and considerable talents, partnering with parents to cherish, nurture, and educate each of their students. After all, parents are the primary teachers of their children. This partnership is one of the reasons our students find such great success.”

Some highlights for the 2023-24 academic year:

  • Saint Ambrose Catholic School in Annandale begins its second year as the Diocese's only dual-language immersion program, with students in kindergarten and first grade learning in both English and Spanish. In partnership with the Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) program at Boston College's Roche Center, Saint Ambrose is part of a network of more than 40 such schools across the country. 
  • For the first time in more than 20 years, Bishop Ireton Catholic High School in Alexandria is at full capacity for all four grades.
  • Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Potomac Shores celebrates its 15th anniversary since opening in 2008.
  • 19 diocesan schools have enrolled students with intellectual disabilities. This highlights our growing diocesan commitment to serving all God's children.


“We are excited to return to school and are grateful that parents continue to put their faith and trust in us as partners while we shepherd students, both academically and spiritually. We look forward to a joyful year marked by rich opportunities for our students to grow in faith and knowledge,” said Dr. Joseph E. Vorbach III, superintendent of schools for the Diocese.

“Our faith teaches us that each young person is a gift from God. All students deserve to be formed intellectually, physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. I thank parents who continue put their trust in our growing Catholic schools. Parents, teachers, faculty, and staff can be assured of my prayers as the school year begins,” added Bishop Burbidge.

While most diocesan schools have waiting lists, enrollment is dynamic. Interested families are encouraged to make inquiries with their local Catholic schools. For more information on Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington, visit

*This release has been updated to include the six independent Catholic schools that are recognized by the Diocese of Arlington Office of Catholic Schools.

Media interested in covering diocesan back-to-school activities should contact Mary Shaffrey, director of media relations at 703-841-2517 or