Enrolment numbers at School District 10 continue to increase, according to a SD 10 report.
When comparing Sept. 2019 to Sept. 2020, enrolment numbers increased by more than 10 per cent from 454 students to 501 students. That surpasses the 463 students the district anticipated to have this school year.
“This is significant growth for us, even though our district is pretty small,” said SD 10 superintendent Terry Taylor.
“We’re seeing the growth across most of the schools in the district, particularly at our Arrow Lakes Distributed Learning School (ALDL), which offers home-based learning.”
Enrolment numbers at ALDL skyrocketed from 33 students in Sept. 2019 to 73 students in Sept. 2020. Of all the students, 62 are in kindergarten to Grade 9 while 11 are in Grade 10 to 12.
Two other schools that also saw big enrolment increases were Nakusp Secondary School (NSS) and Burton Elementary School (BES). Between Sept. 2019 and 2020, enrolment at NSS increased from 122 to 139 students and enrolment at BES increased from 17 to 30 students.
Two schools that bucked the trend were Nakusp Elementary School and Edgewood Elementary School, which saw enrolment numbers drop from 174 to 155 students and 17 to 10 students respectively.
Enrolment numbers haven’t always been this steady in the district.
“Over the last 10 years, a graph included in the report shows that we’ve been on a declining enrolment trend,” said Taylor.
“Enrolment started to stabilize two years ago and that’s when we came out of funding protection as we’re no longer losing 1.5 per cent of our enrolment every year.”
SD 10 staff have been busy creating more child care spaces with the enrolment boom. The Goat Mountain Child Care Centre will offer 46 child care spaces when it opens up next month and the Nakusp Elementary School child care centre will offer 96 child care and school age spaces when it opens in 2022.
SD 10 staff have welcomed the big enrolment increase with open arms.
“In Burton, Fauquier and New Denver, we’ve had a lot of new families move into these communities. That has really bumped up the school population,” said Taylor.
“This is a great upward trend and we’ve been really happy supporting those children and families as they’ve moved in.”