SD 70 numbers in Alberni north go south

Student enrollment is down in northern Alberni schools and officials are at a loss as to why, School District 70 superintendent Cam Pinkerton said.

The final numbers are in and student enrollment numbers are down in Alberni’s north side of town, School District 70 superintendent Cam Pinkerton said.

The development was discussed with trustees at their Tuesday night meeting.

According to Pinkerton, there are only 87 per cent of the projected number of students attending AW Neill.

The greatest drop is in Grade 6 where there are 29 fewer students than projected.

Grade 8 has seen the next highest drop with 14 fewer students than was projected.

“That’s 63 students that we have lost,” Pinkerton said.

The number represents a two per cent decline in the student population compared to this time last year, he added.

The situation is more encouraging across town is more encouraging.

Enrollment at EJ Dunn Middle School seems stable, as is enrollment at Maquinna and Eighth Avenue schools.

Across the district, kindergarten numbers are eight per cent above projected enrollment.

And Grade 9-10 numbers are two per cent above projections.

The numbers aren’t in yet for Choices, adult education and distributed learning aren’t in yet but are expected to rise, Pinkerton said.

The cause for the decline at AW Neill isn’t known.

“They could have moved, we don’t know what’s responsible for the demographic shift,” Pikerton said.

The drop in enrollment will see a congruent drop in funding from the Ministry of Education as well, he added.

At the school board meeting in early September Pinketon said that the Valley’s two independent schools may have experienced a rise in enrollment numbers this year.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com