Public school enrolment numbers down in Terrace

Coast Mountains School District officials say it's difficult to predict how an improving economy is affecting the public school population

Enrolment numbers for the Coast Mountains School District (CMSD) are down from last year, with district officials saying that it’s difficult to predict how an improving economy is affecting the public school population.

Full-time enrolment for kindergarten through Grade 12, excluding home school students, in the CMSD  taken at the end of September stood at 4714.

That’s down from 4851 in September 2012.

CMSD superintendent Nancy Wells says this overall drop in students wasn’t necessarily what the district was anticipating.

“We like our projections to be accurate,” Wells said. “In our area, there’s a lot of unknowns happening right now because of the economic development. Some people think that’s going to drive more students, and, actually, it doesn’t necessarily. It’s been very hard to project this year because of things happening in of our communities.”

One example Wells gives of this instability is the rent increases that have been happening in the Terrace area.

“Particularly in the downtown, Horseshoe core, we’ve lost families to other communities who can no longer afford to rent in Terrace.

“That’s impacted our overall numbers – and we didn’t expect that,” she said.

“We’re really sorry to lose those families because for a lot of our schools, those kids were an important part of our schools, they’re doing really well, they know their teachers, and then they have to move.”

For the two downtown elementary schools, overall enrolment has dropped, with 209 students at Cassie Hall last year, and 197 students this year. Suwilaawks Community school has 221 students this year compared with 252 last year.

Terrace’s French immersion school, Ecole Mountainview, has a higher number of overall students – 171 compared with 151, in part because of extra kindergarten spaces added this year.

Uplands’ enrolment has also increased, with 309 students enrolled last year and 315 this year.

Thornhill Elementary saw 159 students last year, comparable to the 154 enrolled this year. Thornhill Primary saw 225 students last year, which this year increased to 244.

And at Skeena Middle School this year, the school’s second year with Grade 7 through Grade 9, there are 585 students, down from last year’s 628. Parkside Secondary had 133 spaces filled last year, with 120 this year.

Caledonia Secondary has 661 students for 2013/2014, down from 720.25 last year.

Meanwhile, the school district is readying for a number of high-level staffing changes.

Brent Speidel, director of instruction, school support, is leaving at the end of December to take a position at Northwest Community College. His replacement is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, along with a new director of human resources and director of aboriginal education.

A new superintendent is also expected to be announced in January, as Wells’ contract is up at the end of this school year.


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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

Longtime Terrace resident celebrates 100th birthday

Family, friends gathered for brief celebration that included pandemic precautions

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Man found injured in Thornhill

No foul play suspected, RCMP say

Northwest Indigenous governments form new alliance

Alliance intended as way to share resources, maximize opportunities

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

Most Read