May 18, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Specialty courses at Norkam Secondary could soon be cut as the school district continues to struggle with tighter budgets and declining enrolment.
With decreased enrolment the commercial cooking and hairdressing courses offered out of the North Shore high school may be lost, school district Supt. Karl deBruijn says.
“It’s our hope to save them,” he says. “But as long as we have have declining enrolment we’ll face this issue.”
The future of the courses will likely be determined at the end of the month when the district has a better idea of exact enrolment numbers, deBruijn says. The district is currently advertising the courses to its students, but the students make their own choices on which courses to sign up for.
These are only the high profile courses which may be lost, he says, with other high schools potentially losing electives such as some arts classes. It’s an issue he says rural schools have been facing for awhile, but is starting in Kamloops as the city sees fewer students.
The loss of the two courses could have an impact on future school years as well, deBruijn notes. While the specialized equipment for the courses is unlikely to move, the teachers may, and since they have specialized education for the hairdressing and cooking courses it may be difficult to replace them.
The courses could be saved if enough students register though. To make up any budget shortfall, deBruijn says the district could apply for a grant from the community link fund, which is operated by the Ministry of Education. The fund helps balance economic disadvantages, he notes.
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