September 14, 2016 - 11:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - With an unexpected increase in the number of students this year the Kamloops-Thompson School District is hiring new teachers.
Superintendent Alison Sidow says the school district has 203 more elementary students than initially planned for. There is no clear reason for the increase. Over the past few years the district has seen a decreasing trend, and Sidow says the district planned accordingly.
“We are going to do some research to see why we’re seeing 159 more kindergarten than last year,” she says.
The working theory right now is that B.C.’s strong economy and Kamloops’s relative affordability compared to other cities in the province are drawing young families from out of province. The district is collecting information from schools now to see if that theory can be backed up my evidence, Sidow says, but there does seem to be an increase in out of province students registering locally.
“We’re seeing more families move for economic reasons than we have before,” she says. The B.C. birthrate has gone up as well, she says, but that increase wasn’t expected this year.
This year's increase is leading to a few new jobs with 7.7 new teaching positions in the district.
“These will be new hires,” she says. “A lot of teachers who have been on the (teacher on call) list are getting calls.”
While secondary school numbers aren’t in, there appears to be more students than expected as well.
“We’re down fewer students than we anticipated,” she says. “We’re still going to be down 300 secondary students.”
Again, out of province students are cited as the reason. While the increase is a bit of a surprise, Sidow says it’s a positive.
“We’re pleased to see we’ve moved beyond the decline we’ve seen over the past 10 years,” she says.
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