Salmon Arm  

More students in classrooms

More students than expected will be attending school in the North Okanagan-Shuswap school district.

There are 83 more students than forecast registered for the 2017-18 school year.

Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Bittante said that means the district will be up 100 full time equivalency (FTE) students over last year.

As of Sept. 7 the district's enrolment was 6,159 FTE.

With the increase in enrolment and changes to the legislation around class size and composition, 44 new FTE teachers have been hired.

"Wrap your head around that for a minute," said Trustee Mike McKay. "That's 44 additional teachers coming in to our communities, rejuvenating our communities and schools. For the third year in a row our enrolment has increased."

He added the increase in enrolment is happening across the province.

In her report, Bittante noted the increase in enrolment, combined with the restored class size and composition language, has resulted in additional divisions being added to Highland Park, South Broadview, Salmon Arm West, Silver Creek, Ranchero and Sorrento schools.

"With the district out of funding protection for the second year in a row, the increase in students in the district will now generate additional revenue. Most of this revenue will go directly to the classrooms to pay for teachers, educational assistants and classroom resources," she said.

She also explained some of the changes are the result of the restored class size and composition language.

"The Ministry has committed to funding the restored language through the Classroom Enhancement Fund,” said Bittante.

Final enrolment will be reported to the Ministry on Sept. 29 and will determine the operating grant for the district which is announced in December.

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