Public school district sees increase in enrolment

  • Oct. 15, 2014 4:40 p.m.

The Red Deer Public School District continues to see growth each school year.

This fall the district has seen an increase in enrollment of 3% with 10,842 students attending of the district’s 22 schools. This is an increase of 331 students from the previous years, about the size of one elementary school. During the 2013/14 school year the district grew by 1.1%

This school year saw implementation of the new elementary boundaries to accommodate students at the newest school, École Barrie Wilson School with over 400 students as well as the opening of Escuela Pines School for the district’s Spanish Bilingual program with 100 students from Kindergarten to Grade 2. This changes resulted in the rightsizing of some of the other overcrowded schools in the district.

“We do a lot of work in a lot of different areas to help us try and predict enrolment and growth. It’s usually pretty accurate to what we were expecting,” said Bev Manning, chair of the Red Deer Public School board. “It’s a healthy growth. We opened École Barrie Wilson School which helped relieve some of the pressures on the south east side but that school has been subsumed into the system and we are looking at having that school full within a year or two.”

The district is also seeing increasing student numbers from Kindergarten to Grade 2.

“It does seem that Red Deer is a healthy, growing community with a lot of children. That certainly bodes well for the future,” said Manning. “It’s exciting to have an opportunity to have those little Kindergarten and pre-Kindergarten students and we look forward to serving them over the next 12 years.”

As for projecting for growth, Manning said a lot of planning goes into trying to figure out enrolment numbers each year.

“It really is like a puzzle – the picture of accommodation – because there are a lot of different variables,” she said. “But we know what our past statistics are, we work closely with the City, we work with Statistics Canada and another statistics company as well. The other thing that we do is we sit and look at the long-term picture. It’s about looking at enrolments and trends in neighbourhoods. It is a very difficult thing to do. Sometimes you can get it bang on and other times there are things that you can’t predict.

“You really do have to keep your finger on what is going on.”

Although an increase in enrolment is a positive thing, it does come with its challenges as well.

“It’s really about finding spaces in the right places,” said Manning. “It’s about keeping up with the growth on the south end of town. Now we have a new school in Inglewood and that will be opening in 2017 if everything goes correctly. But that means we’ll be reconfiguring the boundaries. I think it’s really important to work with our community on this. It’s a struggle when you have to keep rearranging the boundaries. It’s a problem – it’s kind of a good problem, but it’s a problem nonetheless. We know that it affects children and families in those areas. We want to be sensitive with that and we want to work with them.”

Just Posted

FCC host forum featuring sportscaster Brian Williams

The forum is part hopes to educate, reenergerize, inspire and inform producers

Country star Brett Kissel releases new album

Kissel excited to make a stop in Red Deer

Westerner Park takes home international prize for Urban Farm Project

Organizer said she wanted to create an urban farm that would connect urban dwellers to agriculture

Glamorous Red Deer clothing on display

Red Deer MAG showcases stylish dresses worn through the City’s history

Santa launches holiday blood drive at Red Deer clinic

The Berry Family was on site to encourage others to give blood

CP Holiday Train steams into Lacombe

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train delighted residents of Lacombe on Dec. 6

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Higher winds could complicate California wildfire fight

The expected strength of the winds have reached uncharted territory

North Korea says war is inevitable

North Korea says war is inevitable as allies continue war games

UPDATE: Al Franken resigns from Senate amid allegations

Announcement coming from Sen. Franken amid fresh accusations

Australian Parliament allows same-sex marriages

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said 62 per cent of registered voters favoured reform.

YouTube Canada Reveals the top videos of 2017

From a sea lion that got a bit too frisky to a toddler stealing popcorn from Prince Harry - we watched it all

Canadians urged to exercise caution in Middle East ahead of protests

Protests are in reaction to Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Feds planning to push back delivery date for new fighter jets: sources

The Liberals had planned to buy 18 Super Hornets

Most Read