Student enrolment slide slowing

YEARS OF declining student enrolment may be ending, says a senior official with the Coast Mountains School District.

YEARS OF declining student enrolment may be ending, says a senior official with the Coast Mountains School District.

Director of instruction Brent Speidel says enrolment numbers to the end of September are about the same as they were last year and are within projections made this spring.

The decline in student numbers began in 1997, the year the regional forest industry began its own downward spiral, when the district was home to about 8,000 students.

By last year that number had dropped to about 4,800 and is now slightly up at  approximately 4,927 students, not including distance education learners.

“We have been losing 100 to 200 kids every year; this is the first year where we are finally coming in about the same,” Speidel said.

While the drop seems to have tapered off, more students continue to graduate than ones entering the system.

“We’ve got a couple more years left where what we are putting out at the top end is more than what we are putting out at the bottom,” Speidel said.

According to Speidel the district added the equivalent of three full-time teachers to deal with some specific class size issues.

One such issue occurred in Thornhill where one kindergarten class was added because 11 more kindergarten students than expected showed up.

There has also been a minor bump in enrolment at Skeena Secondary, as some Thornhill parents decided to send their children to the school a year early in advance of the closure next year of Thornhill Junior Secondary.

Speidel said some of the requests to move Thornhill students to Skeena this year were granted, and some were denied, depending on the circumstance.

“We had to add some staffing at Skeena, we projected 500 and they are at 523,” Speidel said.

Some new students have arrived from Prince Rupert and some from schools operating in First Nations villages, he added.

Speidel said if enrolment starts to climb the district will be ready for that too.

“We’ve got room if the kids show up,” he said. “It’s easy to add teachers, because we have the classrooms to put them in.”

At Caledonia Senior Secondary School enrolment is up from 519 last year to 523 this year, Cassie Hall Elementary lost a few students dropping from 276 to 260.

École Mountainview experienced an influx of students this September as its total went from 134 to 161. Skeena Junior Secondary School had also had a boost in students, with 486

enroled last year and 523 this year.

Students numbers at Suwilaawks Community School remained about the same, dropping by two from 271 to 269, and Uplands Elementary also stayed on par increasing from 351 last year to 356.

In Thornhill, the primary school increased from 208 to 213, the elementary school also increased from 205 to 213, and enrolment at the junior school dropped, from 207 last year to 195 currently.

Parkside Secondary School is holding steady with 155 students, the same as last year as that is all the school can handle.

At Terrace’s private schools, enrolment also held  relatively steady, with a few minor drops.

Veritas Catholic School has 203 students, compared to 210 last September. Centennial Christian School is down by 15 students with 140 compared to 155 last year.

École Jack Cook has 30 students, dropping by eight from 38 last September and the Seventh-day Adventist School remained unchanged, with 16 students enroled this year.

Mountain View Christian Academy is slightly up, with 68 students compared to last year’s 62.



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

Just Posted

What is the future of transportation in Terrace?

Active transportation, transit, road networks to play a big part in the coming years

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Terrace firefighters heading south to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Nicole Halbauer seeks B.C. NDP nomination for Skeena riding

Halbauer is the current Chair of the Board of Directors at Coast Mountain College

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read