District 73 sharpens its pencil for the upcoming school year

By James Peters / Chad Harris
September 2, 2016 - 9:44am Updated: September 2, 2016 - 4:52pm

KAMLOOPS — The Kamloops-Thompson School District is ramping up for another school year starting Tuesday.

Changes this year include the closure of Stuart Wood Elementary, and the opening of the K-to-12 Kamloops School of the Arts.

Superintendent Alison Sidow says enrollment is still predicted to be on the decline.

"We do expect to have a potential decline of 389 students. Most of those students are in the secondary school. We are seeing that large cohort of students move through the system, in about two years we anticipate we will have approximately 1000 students per grade." 

However, Sidow says a big decline was expected last year as well, but it was largely offset by in-migration from other areas of BC and Western Canada.

"Last year we got a little bit caught, as did other districts in the province because we had so many families move from Western Canada and from Northern British Columbia. We are not sure if we are going to see that trend of families moving to Kamloops area in search of work. It's kind of a wait and see." 

When it comes to staffing, Sidow notes most teachers that were laid off at the end of June will be hired back.

"24 teachers were laid off. Fortunately as of a result of retirements, and teachers moving on we were able to reengage a majority of those teachers. We still have a few teachers we are looking to place." 

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