For more that 60 years St. Demetrios Preparatory School in Astoria has been a bastion of learning for the neighborhood’s Greek-American Orthodox community where 100 percent of its graduates go on to colleges and universities.
Now the private Christian school is opening its doors to any students in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, and it has nothing to do with declining enrollment.
“The decision was made to open our doors to anyone who wants to receive a faith-based education,” a top administration official said. “We get an awful lot of phone calls from parents who are aware that our tuition is $200 less per month than at your average Catholic school so affordability is a very big component but we are also classical humanities-based learning. So many schools are now so focused on technology. We try to make it an interdisciplinary holistic type of education for a child.”
St. Demetrios Prep is comprised of three separate schools serving students kindergarten through 12th grade, with the elementary school at 22-30 33rd St., a middle school at 30-03 30th Drive and a high school at 30-03 30th St. The school offers a traditional college-preparatory liberal arts curriculum.
“We recently received a grant for close to $20 million from an anonymous benefactor that allows the school to keep its tuition low for middle-class families,” the administrator said. “But our class size is also a factor where we have 15 to 18 students to one teacher, and most of our faculty has advanced degrees and teach at colleges particularly in math and science. Plus, we offer both athletic and academic merit scholarships.”
St. Demetrios will hold an open house event on Saturday, March 16, from 12 to 2 p.m. for parents interested in enrolling their children. The school also features Welcome Wednesdays where a child can shadow a student through classes.
For more information visit their website at sdprep.org.
“For more than 60 years we were a little known secret here in Astoria for Greek-Americans speaking the old language,” she said. “Now nothing could be further from the truth.”
Editor’s note: The school administration official requested to have their name withheld for this interview.