Friday, November 15, 2013

Declining enrolment trend continues for School District 52

The numbers for official enrolment for the 2013-14 school year are in and as has been the case over the last five years, Prince Rupert's schools have fewer students in attendance.

The official enrolment for SD52 this year is 2,100 students, a decline of 51 from last year's count and a reduction of 319 from the numbers back in 2009.

Kindergarten enrolment for this year has increased by one from numbers of last year, with 146 kindergarten students in place by September 30th, which was the date for final tabulations.

The Kindergarten numbers make for an increase of 11 from 2009, though the high point in recent years for the School District was in 2011, when 154 students were registered for Kindergarten.

Funding protection factors are currently set at no less than 98.5 per cent of the previous years funding, which in the case of School District 52 will mean a reduction in funding of $372,000 for next year.

One hopeful sign for the local school district is that demographic indicators suggest that declining enrolment will level off over the next few years.

Beyond the demographic signs, the prospect of economic expansion for the North Coast could provide for some relief on the trend of decline. Though any relief by way of increased enrolment at the region's schools is most likely a few years off yet, as the proposed industrial plans deliver new residents to the area.

The enrolment review was part of the Highlights update from the Board's November 12th meeting.

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