There are fewer students in public school in School District 70 but a boost in enrolment in the Alberni Valley’s two independent schools, superintendent Cam Pinkerton said.
The development was announced by Pinkerton in his report to trustees at their first meeting of the school year on Tuesday night.
According to Pinkerton, there are 3,700 students in SD70 schools, which is down from the 4,100 to 4,200 that were initially projected.
At the elementary level there are 75 students fewer than projected (1,681).
Middle schools saw the biggest dip, and were 56 students fewer than the 362 that were projected. AW Neill lost 51 students.
The high school is on target and is expected to have 1185-1200 full-time equivalent students.
The numbers should be taken with a grain of salt because it’s early in the year and updates occur daily. And distributed learning will see continued enrolment throughout the year, he said.
Nevertheless, the numbers are consistent with where the district has been at during this same time over the past three years.
A more solid enrolment projection can be made at the end of September.
Enrolment has increased simultaneously at John Paul II Catholic School and Haahuupayak independent schools, which could partly explain the dip in SD70 enrolment, Pinkerton said.
Responding to a question from trustee Glenn Wong about enrolment projections, Pinkerton said that district staff used formulas and algorithms as forecasting tools.
“We used them to project high school enrolment 15-20 years out before we built the new high school,” he said.
The projections predicted a dip, but they also anticipate an enrolment rebound in 2015, Pinkerton added.