Enrolment boost means an extra $1.7 million windfall for SD73

By Greg Fry
October 23, 2017 - 3:21pm

KAMLOOPS — A boost in student enrolment in the Kamloops-Thompson School District this school year means, at minimum, an extra $1.7 million in its coffers.

Superintendent Alison Sidow says this month's final enrolment count showed a 297 student increase over last year.

"That helps of course with supporting additional teachers, with teaching supplies, school supplies. So, all of those resources to support students that are new to our district," said Sidow.

So, which schools saw the biggest increases?

"We are seeing signficant increases in what I call the Valleyview corridor. For instance Dallas, where we saw an additional 31 students, McGowan Park, 32 more students, Sun Peaks, 23 extra students, 27 more at Kay Bingham on the North Shore. There's increases everywhere."

When it comes to secondary school she says Sahali, NorKam and Valleyview saw the biggest bumps.

Sidow adds there was 221 international students in area high schools, 39 more than last year. She says the majority of those came from China and Taiwan but also from European countries like Germany and Italy.

"Which is important because those students not only bring important revenue to our schools ($12,000 to $15,000 each) and to our communities but they bring diversity, they bring experiences that our students wouldn't necessarily have. So new friendships are formed and it really enhances the educational experiences for our students and our international students."

And though she's pleased there has been an increase in enrolment in the district after years of declines, she says more students means more pressure on district facilities. She says the district will need more capital funding from Victoria to help with that.

"And our (Board of Education) has been clear, it's our turn. We have received 1/10th of the capital funds Kelowna has received, 1/6th of what Prince George has received, and significantly less that what we're seeing in the Lower Mainland."



Coordinated search for missing Williams Lake man underway today