Cowichan Valley School District 79 has welcomed more than 200 new students this year, marking the third straight year of enrolment growth for the district. Chemainus Elementary was one of the schools experiencing the largest growth.
There are now slightly more than 7,800 full-time equivalent students across the school district, up from the 7,594 funded by the Ministry of Education last year.
As of September 30, this includes: 4,631 students in elementary schools (increase of 112); 2,727 students in secondary schools (increase of 29); and 308 students in the alternate program (decrease of 15).
There are also 136 learners enrolled in the district’s dual credit, distributed learning, and adult program that are also experiencing growth. These counts do not include the estimated 230 students who will be part of the district’s international student program this year.
This year’s enrolment figures include more than 100 FTEs of unanticipated enrolment growth. On top of the new class size and composition requirement, that puts some additional pressures on schools in the district. The most significant jump in enrolment this year was in the elementary grades, particularly across Grades 4-7.
“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,” said Superintendent Rod Allen. “We also welcomed a number of new teachers and staff to our district this year, thanks to enrolment increases and class size and composition requirements. Even though quick growth can bring along some challenges, it’s an exciting opportunity for all of us.”
Chemainus Elementary added 33 full-time equivalent students.