March 20, 2014 - 11:29 AM
KAMLOOPS — Nearly four classes worth of Kindergarten students are missing from the registration lists in schools across the district.
The Kamloops Thompson School District expected 990 Kindergarten students but just over 900 have been registered so far.
Assistant Superintendent Karl deBruijn notes it is typical at this time of year to be off the forecasted numbers, but to be about 80 or so off is a bit disconcerting.
“All budgeting is done based on these numbers,” he says, “If our numbers are low, we are down in funding, down in teachers.”
The district uses a five year average to help forecast the number and if there is a sudden jump in registration at the beginning of the school year it could delay everything a week or two while they try to get teachers in place.
“We will eventually get money for (late registered students) but in the meantime we're trying to plan classes,” deBruijn says. “The more accurate the numbers are the better equipped we are.”
DeBruijn says sometimes parents of Kindergarten students might not realize how early registration happens and then there are parents who move in and out of the district over the summer. People are having less kids than they used to.
“Just the three of our families could have filled a classroom,” the former teacher says, pointing to the large families his wife, Superintendent Terry Sullivan and himself all came from. “Now the average is about 0.4 children per household (in the district.)”
At this point deBruijn is not sure if the forecast is off because it is an anomaly year or whether they will have to look at changing how they plan. Staff will spend quite a bit of time in May and June planning who should be in which class next year.
“We're trying to make the best placement for a child as possible,” deBruijn says, “It's not just a card deck you shuffle into different piles.”
Overall the district was expecting to be down around 250 students overall because there are still more secondary students leaving than Kindergarten students coming in but the drop in registrations this year means the overall count could be even lower than expected as well. It could also mean the expectation numbers could even out soon could be off as well.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014