Enrolment up in school district

School District 5 attendance has increased for the 2015/16 school year.

Arne Petryshen

School District 5 attendance has increased for the 2015/16 school year according to enrolment numbers released at the Nov. 10 school board meeting.

The total number of Student Funded Full Time Equivalent spaces as of Oct. 2, 2015 was 5,349.5. The numbers include 19 schools and institutions.

“We’re up 166,” Lynn Hauptman, School District 5 Superintendent, said.

“That’s across the whole district, that’s not just Cranbrook. That includes Jaffray, Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford. Based on that, we do a preliminary budget every spring and we project what we believe will be the amount of students every year.”

A full time equivalent (FTE) of 1.0 equals one full-time student, while 0.5 would be a student enrolled in half the classes.

Hauptman said it’s always good news when student numbers go up for the district, because their budget is based on student enrolment.

The biggest change was Laurie Middle School increased enrolment by 48 students — from 298.5 in 2014, to 346.5 in 2015.

Next was Kootenay Education Services, which went from 69.8 FTE in 2014, to 98.8 in 2015 — a change of 29 spaces.

Fernie Secondary had an increase of 22 students up to 208.3. Rocky Mountain Elementary also had an increase of 22 up to 238.

Rob Norum, Secretary-Treasurer for SD5, said the increased enrolment is not unexpected.

“Even 10 years ago, the projection model did show that the decline would stop and we would be stable, maybe slightly increasing, so I think we might be at that point, because we did have 12 or 13 years of decline,” Norum said.

He said that decline began around 1997-98 and didn’t start to turn around until 2012.

“It’s a positive. We’d like to see it as a trend, but one year does not make a trend,” he said. “If it increases for the next two, three years then we would have an increasing trend. I think we’re going to see it slightly increasing over the next few years, but I think more of a stabilizing, than significant increases.”

Norum said the increase follows the projection for the Kootenays.

“I can’t really comment on the rest of the province, but I think provincially there are some pockets that are increasing. A lot of the time it depends on what is happening — if it’s a mining or resource based community, like a lot of our communities, populations could fluctuate greatly up or down.”

Hauptman said one example is Sparwood, where projections were lower because of the slowdown of the resource industry.

In terms of schools, Norum said Isabella Dickens is full, with four portables needed to take in all the students. That solution was undertaken because it is the only elementary school in the community. Kootenay Orchards is pretty close to being full, as well as Rocky Mountain School in Elkford.

In Cranbrook there is room in the elementary schools, said Hauptman.

“Parents may not get into a school where they are living if they moved in late in the school year, but we do have room to accommodate students,” she said. “We won’t turn any students away.”

Laurie Middle School had a large increase. Norum said they do try to manage the intake into the two middle schools and provide enough staffing resources and sections to make it work.

“We try to be as accommodating as we can to students, but if Parkland sections are filling up, then we may not allow any other transfers back to Parkland and vice-versa to Laurie.”

He said they had 58 additional students coming into the middle school section from elementary, of which Laurie took the bulk.

Norum said they are happy with the increases and the stability it gives them.

“I think it’s more problematic to see major changes, where you’re declining rapidly or increasing rapidly,” he said. “We’ve just stopped declining and now it’s slightly increasing. It’s stable and that’s how we feel — that we have some stability and we can start not worrying about these major changes in configurations around the district.”

Hauptman said it also meant they were able to add in some extra support in terms of staffing in some of the schools.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City council approved a zoning amendment to permit construction of a new apartment building.
Council approves zoning change for proposed apartment building

Cranbrook city council approved a rezoning application that would permit construction of… Continue reading

East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook. Google maps photo
EKFH Starlite campaign to support youth mental health care centre

Together with the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Family and Child Services Society (KKFCSS), the… Continue reading

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

City Hall in Cranbrook.
Housing study identifies shifting demographics in Cranbrook

Gaps in Cranbrook’s housing stock include shifting demographics and a mismatch of… Continue reading

File photo
Two arrested near Creston after allegedly fleeing U.S. border agents in Idaho

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Slippery roads led to this crash in West Trail on Friday morning. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in Kootenays causes multiple crashes; one suspected of involving alcohol

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson leaves the stage after announcing he is stepping down as party leader, during a news conference in Burnaby, B.C., on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Too rural, not enough diversity, soul searching needed, say BC Liberals

Elections BC says there are about 600,000 mail-in and absentee ballots across the province still to count

Most Read