Enrollment is up across the Division for Northern Lights School Division (NLSD), which is a very positive display in the current economy, says NLSD Board Chair, Arlene Hrynyk.
Assistant Superintendent Ron Taylor explains, “we’re up 126 students across the jurisdiction. That’s over our projection, which was 126 less.” Before the start of the school year, NLSD projects what their enrollment numbers will be. Considering the economic downturn, it was expected they would lose students whose families moved due to employment situations. However, explains Taylor, “compared to last year we are up 96 students from June.”
“Some interesting facts to note, when discussing with the schools, why the difference in population, one school reported a parent who came in,” Taylor relays the school, in the Cold Lake area’s experience, “the parent said I’m moving here now because housing is more affordable.” Taylor believes that is one of the major reasons why enrollment has grown.
The division saw a “major increase in Cold Lake and Lac La Biche areas”, with Bonnyville, “staying relatively static”.”Overall, this is very good news. There’s been some adjustments in staffing, due to the news. But overall, very good news,” declares Taylor.
Board Chair Arlene Hrynyk expressed the same sediments as Taylors, stating, “always good news when you see the numbers going up. There was a lot of years where we were flatlined, and even a slight decrease. Now, we’re back on the increase, so that’s wonderful.”
“It really speaks to the opportunities we’re providing in the public schools,” one of those opportunities is Inspiring Education says Hrynyk. The Inspiring Education is a provincial initiative aimed at putting students first and developing programming that focuses on the student achievement.
Some of the programming NLSD has developed on a division level includes, Energy 35 and Driver’s Ed. Which NLSD shared on a provincial level and were adapted by schools across Alberta. New programming includes the Service Drilling Rig Course, which erected its rig on Wednesday, October 7th. The program is the first of its kind in the province and has inspired NLSD to work on a Scaffolding Course, which is in the development stages.
Hrynyk believes it is due to these programming that NLSD continues to grow.