Although the numbers aren’t yet official, early indications show that there has been a slight increase in full-time equivalent students in the North Peace.
The actual number of students across the district has decreased, but because full-time kindergarten is now in effect, the number of full-time equivalent students has actually increased, says Larry Espe, superintendent of School District 60.
The total number of students in the District’s schools is 5,527, which is based on enrollment numbers from Sept. 20.
The actual number of students is based on a head count, whereas the number of full-time equivalent students is based on how many students are in school full-time – adding approximately 13 students to the total. Previously, when kindergarten students only went for half days, it took two kindergarten students to equal one full-time equivalent student.
He also says that the District’s funding from the Province is based on the number of full-time equivalent students.
The school district is already expecting more students in the future. Espe says the Ministry of Education’s projections expect a couple hundred more students registering in the future based on birth rates in the region.
Espe says the District and the Ministry are trying to determine the best ways to accommodate the future growth of the student population, whether that involves building new schools or adjusting the catchment area for certain schools.
Despite most schools functioning at capacity, he says the schools are all able to accommodate the current numbers of students enrolled. However, he says that ministry software that creates student’s timetables has been creating problems with registrations and adjustments to schedules.
The official enrollment numbers for the District aren’t released until Sept. 30.