Elementary schools in the Shuswap enjoy a continued increase in enrolment this year.
While the numbers are not yet official and are regarded as estimates by School District 83, they look promising. Last year the district projected elementary enrolment to be up by 20-30 students, this year the numbers show they are 50-60 over the projected amount. The result is the district has approximately 70-90 more elementary students enrolled than last year.
Carl Cooper the assistant superintendent for SD83, said this is a continuation of an unexpected trend.
“We went for 10 or 15 years of lower enrolment but starting in 2015/2016 our numbers started to go up a bit,” Cooper said. “We’ve been gaining 150 kids for the last couple years and everything we heard was that it was going to slow down.”
The two biggest increases have been at Sorrento Elementary and Highland Park Elementary in Armstrong.
In previous, years these increases have been explained by an influx of families moving to the respective areas from northern B.C., Alberta and Vancouver. Those trends continue, but Cooper has also heard that more people have moved to Armstrong and are working in Vernon, causing the increase to Highland Park.
The increase to Sorrento’s enrolment Cooper still attributes to more families moving to the area, but this year the numbers show Sorrento projections were surpassed by a baffling 26 students.
“That’s the one that’s caught us by surprise a little bit more than anything,” Cooper said, “That was quite a big jump.”
There is also an overage in the projections for Bastion Elementary. Cooper said this is due to classes at Bastion being full in previous years. Since then students have moved away or gone to different schools in the area, making room for more students at Bastion which was then able to take students again, resulting in the perceived increase.
High school enrolment is calculated by number of students attending individual courses so the enrolment numbers for high school are not in yet. Official enrolment numbers for both high school and elementary will be calculated by the beginning of October.