8/30/21 – Private schools that pushed in-person learning last school year during the COVID-19 pandemic saw a significant increase in student enrollment. And those numbers are holding up as schools begin holding classes again. Fifth graders at Notre Dame Academy, a Catholic PreK-8 school in Minnetonka, are getting to know their new classroom with a scavenger hunt on their first day of school. Notre Dame Academy saw an 11% increase in enrollment last year, a gain of roughly 20 students. This year, nearly all of them are back. “We have about a 95 or 96% retention rate, and that’s what we saw this year, too,” Principal Bonita Jungels said.