Classroom chairs (Pixabay photo)

SD78 expecting fewer students in schools over next three years

The school district shared its projected enrolment numbers at the board meeting on Feb. 16

The Fraser Cascade School District is projecting fewer students coming into its schools in the next three years.

During the school board meeting on Feb. 16, assistant secretary-treasurer Jenny Veenbaas shared the school district’s projections for enrolment numbers for the next three years: 1,647 for 2021-2022, 1,641 for 2022-2023, and 1,628 for 2023-2024.

Enrolment had been on a steady increase since the 2014-2015 school year, when the district saw 1,591 students in its schools. By 2018-2019, that number had grown to just over 1,741 students.

The school district had anticipated about 1,740 students in the district for 2019-2020, but actually saw only 1,680 — a number calculated before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Teacher salaries, special needs dominate SD78 budget talks

“We anticipated more growth, but currently we’re seeing more retirees moving into the communities, and there’s not as much building happening,” assistant secretary-treasurer Jenny Veenbaas said.

“Even though we hope to see more families move into Hope, that’s not currently what we’re projecting.”

The 2020-2021 saw a further decrease in enrolment numbers.

Earlier this year, Lowe had presented this year’s enrolment total to the board as close to 1,680, but this included students who opted for home schooling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s actual enrolment is 1,638 for students who are learning in school and students who are learning remotely through the district.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the district is anticipating 1,647 students in September. That projection is what the Ministry of Education uses to help decide funding levels for the school district. That funding will be announced on March 15.

RELATED: SD78 $2.1M over budget due to COVID-19 costs

Secretary-treasurer Natalie Lowe said the 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 projections are on the conservative side, to help make sure the district doesn’t end up with too many staff and not enough students.

It’s easier to fit a few extra students into classrooms than to lay off teachers with no classes.

“This way we’re not put into a situation where we have extra people and no work for them,” she explained during the meeting.

“So much as we would like to have the luxury of expecting some of these people back, we’ll wait and see if we actually get them back.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

A memorial to former Abbotsford and RCMP police officer Shinder Kirk in Cedar, B.C. Kirk died in a car accident on Cedar Road in December 2018. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Trial begins for driver involved in car crash that killed retired Abbotsford police sergeant

RCMP accident reconstructionist takes stand in trial of Conrad Nikolaus Wetten

Vehicle in alleged hit and run ploughs into road sign in downtown Chilliwack

Police are looking for footage of a gold-coloured two-door Chevy car

The map shows the number of COVID-19 cases for the week of April 25 to May 1. The darkest areas indicate communities with a daily average of more than 20 cases per 100,000 population. (BC Centre of Disease Control)
Surrey and Abbotsford battle for top COVID hotspot in Fraser Health

Two communities are among areas across province showing highest transmission

One section of a bank of community mailboxes in Ryder Lake was stolen. (Facebook photo)
Brazen thief goes next level with mail theft in Ryder Lake

Chilliwack RCMP confirm a section of a community mailbox was taken off its base and removed

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Most Read