Jumps in student enrolment biggest in Sahali and North Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Jumps in student enrolment biggest in Sahali and North Kamloops

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November 18, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - The Kamloops-Thompson School District has a better idea of which neighbourhoods saw all the growth in student population, but there still isn’t a clear reason why.

The biggest growth happened in the Sahali area, with 155 new students enrolled across the five schools, according to a report to the school board. The North Kamloops-Brocklehurst area also saw a big jump, with 133 new students in 11 schools.

The two areas that saw growth were a bit of an anomaly. The report broke the district into seven regions. One saw a decrease in students, four saw moderate increases, and two experienced a large increase in the number of students.

District administration saw the biggest jump at Sa-Hali Secondary with 102 new students, while the aging South Kamloops Secondary experienced a decrease of 69.

Assistant Supt. Bill Hamblett says some population change is due to catchment areas being redrawn over the past couple of years, with the resulting changes taking time to show up statistically as students move through the school system and graduate.

While the district does know where most students are coming from, he’s not certain why they’re arriving.

Additionally it’s hard to track where students are actually ending up, with some schools, like Juniper Ridge Elementary at capacity. Students moving into that school’s catchment area are attending other schools.

There’s also uncertainty created by students going to specific schools for specific reasons, notably the growth in popularity in French immersion over the past few years. Schools with those types of courses don’t have a location bias.

Other notable growth schools include Sun Peaks Elementary, which went from 54 to 73 students, Marion Schilling Elementary, which grew by 22 partly due to Juniper Ridge Elementary spill over and Summit Elementary, which gained 31 students.

“When people move to an area, there’s an expetation the student will go to the closest school,” Hamblett says. "That's not always the case."

He also points out that a number of schools saw decreases, with A.E. Perry Elementary and Dufferin elementary schools both seeing double digit decreases, among others.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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