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Small enrollment decline is a positive thing: SD8 superintendent

School District 8’s superintendent says she is projecting a small decline in enrollment for their 2023/24 academic year but it is not a cause for concern.

The district is estimating enrollment for next year will be 4,478 enrolled students from kindergarten to Grade 12. This is down by 6.5 full time equivalent students.

Trish Smillie says even though the numbers will be down, this was expected and they are ready. 

“Last year it was predicted our enrollment would drop significantly more than is being projected,” she says. “With the decline, our enrollment is at a relatively stable position.”

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She says stable enrollment benefits everyone across the system and provides a better educational experience and learning environment for students and teachers.

“When we have stable enrollment, it means funding from the ministry is stable,” Smillie says. “That means we can offer growth in program, and services, for our students.

“Everything is stable and it puts us in a great position to focus on student learning and success. We really couldn’t be happier.” 

She says funding, based on enrollment, has increased by almost 10 per cent which was driven by several different factors. 

“The ministry, overall, has increased funding with the enrollment driven portion by 9.4 per cent,” she says. “That accounts for some cost of living increases and inflationary pressures and labour management settlement.”

According to an SD8 report, the enrollment funding increase for 2023/24 would be $204,213.  

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