According to NanaimoNewsNOW, the chair of the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools believes an era of stability has arrived. In other words, the ongoing influx og people coming to tthe area, so obvious to us Realtors, is now showing up as increased enrollment to local schools.
Board chair Steve Rae told NanaimoNewsNOW the school district is optimistic for the coming year for numerous reasons, including the hiring of more than 100 teachers over the summer.
According to NNN, he said they’re currently working out the bugs with hiring so many new teachers and changing the size of the classroom, “But we’re getting through it through the hard work of our teachers, our staff and our partner groups. Things are looking good, we’re very excited about what the future brings. The classrooms and the class sizes are more manageable, it’s a better learning environment.”
After closing eight elementary schools between 2003 and 2016 and declining numbers since the 2000/01 year, with Rutherford Elementary closing in June 2018 due to capacity issues, the tables have turned and enrollment numbers are expected to increase annually until 2026.
Assistant Supt. Tim Davie said the school district is following a trend of “students moving into areas throughout our District, it’s not concentrated into specific pockets at this time.”
Over the next decade, Davie anticipated nearly 850 more students in the District for a student population of roughly 14,400.
No new schools to handle increased attendance are part of the school districts five-year capital plan. Davie said they’ll look at capacity within schools and possibly adding portables.
Ministry of Education data shows Nanaimo and Ladysmith schools had an occupancy rate of 88.5 per cent last school year.