The 2015-2016 school year brought a number of changes to the Admissions Office. We said a sad farewell to our former Director, Hart Roper, welcomed Gene Campbell to our team as our new Assistant Director of Upper School Admissions, saw Lily Fardshisheh become Lily Kosegarten after her summer wedding, and were thrilled to watch our larger family grow by two over the winter with the births of Rose Capito and Owen Campbell. What did not change though was the nature of our work. St. Albans is a place where students are known and valued, and it is our job to take that same ethos in educating families about who we are, what we do, and why we might be the right home for their child. In that endeavor, we were busy.
In the 2014-2015 school year, we saw a record number of inquiries and applications, and a record low acceptance rate. In those categories and others, we established new benchmarks in 2015-2016. We saw our inquiries grow by nearly 4%, welcomed more of families to campus than ever before, and received a record number of applications. Despite accepting fewer students this year than we have in recent memory, we were fortunate to enroll the same number of students that we have in prior years thanks to our record high enrollment yield.
This is all to say that the school continues to enjoy a strong reputation in the market. That reputation is built first and foremost on the extraordinary teaching and learning that happens in our classrooms, the Little Sanctuary, the Refectory, the hallways, and the athletics facilities. Our spectacular new fields no doubt played an important role in helping us talk to families about the role that athletics plays in the life of our community, and our belief that fields, courts, rinks, tracks, and climbing walls are some of the finest classrooms on campus.
Although we are deeply proud of this season’s numbers, what we are more proud of is the group of new students who we will welcome to campus in September. They are a remarkably talented, dynamic, and diverse group, coming to us from 47 different schools, 6 different states, and three different countries. Many have already joined the community through summer camps, classes, and sports teams; an indication that they are as thrilled to become a part of St. Albans as we are excited to greet them.
I would like to end by thanking so many of you for all that you did to help us enjoy such a strong year. Whether it was volunteering at an admissions event, working with us at school fairs, or simply telling friends and family about your positive experience at St. Albans, your contributions were instrumental in helping us educate families about all the dimensions of our community.
I am excited to be back at it again in a few short weeks.