Slight increases in student enrollment have occurred all across the board for schools in Chemainus, Crofton and Thetis Island.
Enrollment numbers from Sept. 30, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017 are as follows:
Crofton Elementary School – (2016: 180, 2017: 192, increase of 12 students).
Chemainus Elementary School – (2016: 298, 2017: 331, increase of 33 students).
Chemainus Secondary School – (2016: 249, 2017: 269, increase of 20 students).
Thetis Island Elementary – (2016: 14, 2017: 17, increase of 3 students).
At the same time, there’s been new classroom teachers hired as a result of the class size and composition requirements, 2.18 at Crofton Elementary, 4.25 at Chemainus Elementary and 2.3 at Chemainus Secondary. There has been no increase in classroom teachers due to class size and composition language at Thetis Elementary.
This does not factor in new teachers who would have been needed simply due to enrollment growth. Across the district, 64.934 new classroom teaching positions have resulted from class size and composition requirements and 5.570 non-enrolling positions such as teacher librarians, English as a second language teachers, counselling resources and others.
“The Cowichan Valley School District has experienced another year of enrollment growth after years of decline, which is fantastic for our communities and our schools,” noted Rod Allen, superintendent for School District 79. “This means more people are discovering what our communities have to offer them and they are choosing to live, work and learn here.
“We have an incredible public education system in our district, and it’s exciting to see that more and more kids are getting an opportunity to experience what we have to offer. On top of that, we’ve welcomed a number of new teachers and staff to our school district this year thanks to enrollment increases and new class size and composition requirements.”
He added the district realizes the enrollment growth and class size requirements have put additional pressure on schools in terms of capacity. Several portables were relocated to schools—including Crofton Elementary—and unused classroom spaces reopened. The growth in the district isn’t expected to slow down in the years ahead.
“Our Board of Education is continuing to work with the local and provincial governments to make sure that growth in the Cowichan Valley is factored into community planning and funding opportunities for new schools,” Allen indicated.