September 10, 2015 - 9:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - While the school district originally anticipated losing 386 students this school year, the numbers during the first week of the school year are showing an increase in enrollment.
The district was able to hire back the 15 teachers who were laid off at the end of last season as well, School District 73 Supt. Karl deBruijn says. He says if increases are proven true the district will likely post additional teaching positions as well.
“It appears people have moved into the district,” he says, adding it’s much harder to determine who’s moved away.
DeBruijn says elementary numbers are roughly up by 192 elementary students. The numbers will not be finalized until the end of the month when the district submits a report to the Ministry of Education. The report will compare the district’s projections to the actual enrolment and measure the difference, which is necessary to determine the amount of funding the district receives from the province.
The superintendent says staff are phoning the homes of students that were in school last season, but have not yet shown up this week. Until all calls have been made, he says they 'don’t want to strike them off the list.'
Elementary numbers are easier to ascertain than those of secondary, deBrujin explains. Where elementary students are all registered for a set amount of classes and hours per week, the time varies for secondary students. He says it will take several weeks to ‘timetable’ each secondary student and therefore it will be several weeks before they have an official count.
David Komljenovic, the Kamloops Thompson Teachers' Association president, is pleased the 15 teachers laid off were able to secure employment for the new school year. He says, though, being hired back days before school starts leaves teachers unprepared.
“It’s unfortunate, there’ no time to plan. Many teachers like to prep over the summer.”
He does not appreciate also the seeming trend of hiring and firing teachers year after year.
Komljenovic says many teaching positions are only temporary and teachers must reapply to jobs each year.
“New teachers would be in temporary positons,” he says, adding the layoffs are an ‘unnecessary disruption.’
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015