While the final numbers are not yet official, the number of students at Sicamous schools is up from last year.
Enrolment in Sicamous had been on a decline, but student numbers at both Parkview and Eagle River Secondary have increased slightly.
“We’ve got very solid numbers,” says Parkview Elementary principal Carla Schneider. “We’ve moved up from seven to eight divisions in the school.”
Previously, Parkview Elementary was being considered for possible closure, with Eagle River Secondary being turned into a K-12 school due to declining enrolment and empty spaces in both buildings. A decision was made last year to keep Parkview open, but to move the Grade 7 class to Eagle River Secondary to better utilize space.
“Technically we are down six students, but when you factor in the fact we have lost all the students in Grade 7 who have moved over (to Eagle River Secondary), we are actually looking at being 10 to 15 students up. We’ve definitely had some new families come in,” says Schneider.
An early childhood Strong Start program also remains operational at Parkview.
Over at Eagle River, Principal Mark Marino says the school enrolment was projected to be 123 students, but is now sitting at 132 students.
“It’s slightly higher than projected. We are fully staffed, and may be looking at adding a few more hours to a part-time position, as well,” says Marino.
Due to the Supreme Court ruling after a legal challenge by teachers, more staff has been added to both schools.
“It’s great for kids, we’ve got smaller classes, more student engagement, more supports,” says Marino, noting the school is working hard to welcome the Grade 7s into the secondary environment. “We’ve got a great team and we spent some time on hosting out Grade 7s and 8s before school started so they could get more familiar and feel more confident coming in on the first day of school.”
Changes have also taken place at Parkview, where students are enjoying the new playground equipment installed over the summer.
“We are thrilled about the new playground, which was put in thanks to the hard work of the PAC (Parent Advisory Council) and the community partners who stepped in to help. It’s a wonderful addition to our school,” says Schneider.
The new equipment had been purchased previously, but sat in storage for some time, due to the uncertainty surrounding the future of Parkview. With assurances that the school will remain open for the immediate future, a decision was made to move forward with the upgrade.