As the 2019-2020 school year gets underway, School District 71 says more students are registering.

The district says it will see an increase in enrollment at the elementary and secondary levels.

Around 600 students are registered for kindergarten and close to 8500 students are registered district-wide.

Superintendent of Schools Tom Demeo says with the large amount of students, more space is needed.

“A great deal of planning is involved in providing additional classrooms at the elementary level
to accommodate our growing enrollment. In response to the projected growth, we began a
process of examining our catchment configurations to ensure students can be properly placed in
schools.”

With increased student population and growth, more support staff were needed to accommodate, something Demeo says the district made sure to do.

“Recruiting, hiring and retention are one of the most important aspects of our work in a region that is experiencing growth,” explained Demeo.

“We are consistently working on different ways to support the transition of new staff to the District and to provide professional development for all of our staff. During the week before school opens, there were over 30 professional development sessions offered.”

New to this school year is the Strategic Priorities Plan which was adopted in June.

The district says the priorities plan is a road map that sets a clear direction for the next four years.

Key focus areas in the plan include Indigenous ways of knowing and learning, physical and mental health and wellness for students and staff, environmental stewardship, and a focus on educational excellence through collaboration and innovation in school classrooms and throughout the community.