Rocky View Schools monitoring student enrolment increase

About 1,000 new students have joined the Rocky View Schools division.

Rocky View Schools (RVS) is among school divisions across the region experiencing an increase in student population this school year.

Superintendent of Schools Greg Lauterbach presented an enrolment update to the RVS Board of Trustees at a Sept. 22 meeting.

“It’s a growth of about 3.7 per cent,” Lauterbach said. “Neighbouring school divisions are up a fair bit as well, it’s the reality of a couple of years, with significant growth across our region.”

In January, RVS submitted a student enrolment projection to the provincial government after collecting data on community growth, grade-to-grade growth, historical trends, census, and birthrates.

Lauterbach first presented enrolment numbers to trustees on Sept. 8, projecting 27,563 students. There are currently 27,613 students, about 1,000 more than last year.

“There have been no big swings one way or the other, both the art and the science of the projection has been pretty good,” Lauterbach said. “It looks like our projections are going to be pretty much bang on, we should be plus or minus 50 students compared to projection.”

RVS directs schools in the division to remove any students from the enrolment system that have not attended the school by Sept. 15.

“If the student comes back, that’s awesome, we can add them no problem, but really we want to ensure we have an accurate count of our students,” Lauterbach said.

RVS will continue to monitor student enrolment numbers until Sept. 29, when the enrolment numbers are finalized and sent to Alberta education.

“For us, we know we have a lot of pressure for space in our schools, we want to make sure we’re dealing with that accurately. When we’re looking at our class sizes, we want to make sure there aren’t ghost students registered who we haven’t seen yet. It doesn’t mean a student isn’t welcome if they come later,” Lauterbach said. “Of course, they are welcome, but it’s about trying to get an accurate picture of who is actually at school.”

RVS Ward Three Trustee Melyssa Bowen expressed her appreciation for the enrolment updates throughout September.

“It’s interesting to hear how many schools are experiencing more students,” Bowen said. “It’s a good thing to note and being able to explain to the public that in September there is a lot of shifting and moving around and making sure we have teachers for the students that we have.”

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