Enrolment is up in the overall Prairie South School Division (PSSD).
© Submitted photo
Darby Briggs, PSSD communications co-ordinator, said there are 6,367 students from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 enrolled in the schools. This is an increase of 33.3 full-time equivalent students from 2012.
“We’re looking really good this year. Our associate schools, which are Cornerstone Christian School and Caronport High School, they’re seeing some decline in enrolment this year,” said Briggs. “There is a noticeable discrepancy in rural versus urban, but the overall (PSSD) numbers are looking positive.”
She said pre-kindergarten often count as half a student because they’re only at school in the morning or the afternoon.
“That doesn’t affect the overall number very much though,” said Briggs. “It’s great to see the numbers going up.”
She said next year, there is a small decline projected for the 2014/2015 school year, but “most of that would recoup in the following year.” Following next year, the estimated growth is between 60 and 100 students each year.
“I think that has a lot to do with the growth in Saskatchewan. It’s a positive indicator not only for us as the division, but southern Saskatchewan as a whole,” said Briggs. “It’s encouraging to see that much growth in our little corner of the province.”
She said the overall enrolment increase in the PSSD is consistent from pre-kindergarten to Grade 12.
“They’re coming into the (PSSD) in the beginning years and whether they move from one school to another they definitely stay in the division, which is nice,” said Briggs. “They’re finding what they want here.”
Growth in the PSSD has been pretty steady for a number of years. Briggs said the division is “really happy to see some positive, big growth.”
She added numbers in Moose Jaw, Gravelbourg and Assiniboia are up this year, but other rural schools saw a bit of a decrease in enrolment.
“I think that’s just a change in community living,” said Briggs. “We want to ensure that declining enrolment in our rural communities doesn’t negatively affect student learning.
“We want to ensure that they’re receiving as many learning opportunities as possible and to take care of that we offer a lot of flexible learning.”
She said the PSSD offers a lot of online courses and schools share resources like practical and applied arts equipment.
“They’re not restricted by their size. So that’s really important,” she said. “We’re really happy to see a strong program and all of our learning opportunities probably offer a great appeal to people.”
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