Increased enrolment has led to more teachers being hired at elementary schools in School District 73.
Trustees on Monday night unanimously approved a request to hire four more teachers for the 2019-2020 school year — one each at Aberdeen, Logan Lake and Pacific Way elementary schools and Beattie elementary.
Provincial funding for the increase in enrolment in the school district will cover the cost of adding the teaching positions.
Currently, SD73 is welcoming 132 more elementary students than it did last September and 38 more elementary students than what was projected. The school district pegged the number of elementary school students attending for the 2019-2020 school year at 8,982, but current enrolment stands at 9,020.
Assistant superintendent Rob Schoen said that while projections are fairly accurate, what’s unexpected is increases in certain areas. All four schools receiving new teachers are showing enrolment increases above projections.
Aberdeen has 21 more students than projected, Beattie is up 50, Logan Lake is up 17 and Pacific Way has 11 more students than projected.
“Our schools feel tight because they are tight,” Schoen said.
There are a number of schools, however, where enrolment is below projections — Arthur Hatton elementary has 21 fewer students than projected, Parkcrest elementary is down 22, Raft River elementary has 19 fewer students than projected, Rayleigh elementary is down 18 and Summit elementary has 12 fewer students than projected.
As a result of those projections, the district is also transferring a teacher from Arthur Hatton and another from Rayleigh to support other schools within the district that are above projections.
Overall, Kindergarten and elementary grade enrolment is up by 87 and 45 students, respectively, from last September as 1,133 kindergarten students and 7,887 grades 1 to 7 students are enrolled as of Sept. 6, compared to 1,046 kindergarten and 7,842 elementary students enrolled last year on Sept. 30, 2018.
SD73 was expecting 28 fewer kindergarteners and 10 fewer elementary school students.
— This story was corrected from an earlier version that incorectly identified one of the school's receiving a new teacher.
— This story was updated Sept. 13 to include more information from assistant superintendent Rob Schoen