School District 73 enrolment numbers higher than projected

By Chad Klassen
September 9, 2016 - 5:15pm

KAMLOOPS — Students are slowly settling into their first week back to school, and there are more appearing in every classroom across the district. 

Enrolment numbers in School District 73 are up from projections that had the number of students down by 389. The biggest increases are being seen on the South Shore, especially at Valleyview Secondary. 

"Juniper West is growing and there is pressure on Valleyview," says district superintendent Alison Sidow. "Currently, Valleyview has 950 students. It was not built to hold 950 students, and so we are going to have to add some blocks in at Valleyview."

Norkam, a school with specialty programs to attract students from across the city and beyond, is seeing growth again with numbers up. 

"We're seeing kids coming in from all over the northern part of the province - Prince George and area, west of Williams Lake. We've also seen a few families coming in from Saskatchewan," says Norkam Principal Jonathan Brady. 

On Friday, teachers and parents threw a barbeque, bringing the entire school together as a kick-off to the year. 

"It creates a positive atmosphere in the school," says Brady. "It's a way for staff to connect with all the kids. It's a way for kids who are new to our building to see the environment and the culture that we have at Norkam. It's a way to have fun and close a week out that's been a stressful, busy week."

While some would still like to be enjoying the summer, others are happy to be back. 

"It's fun," says one student. "I love school. It's one of my favourite things."

With the increase in students, Sidow says the district can now hire more teachers. The school board is meeting on Monday night to discuss how many more teachers the district will need this year. 

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