Student numbers decrease slightly

Slight dip in secondary and Trout Creek elementary enrolments.

The student population in Summerland’s schools is close to the same as last year’s enrolment.

Linda Van Alphen, one of Summerland’s two trustees on the Okanagan Skaha School Board, said there are around 1,300 students in the community this year, according to the preliminary enrolment numbers.

At Summerland Secondary School, there are 451 students this year, down from 458 last year.

At Summerland Middle School, enrolment rose from 310 last year to 314 this year.

Giant’s Head School saw its student population rise from 325 last year to 340 this year.

Trout Creek School has 195 students this year, down from 215 last year.

Van Alphen said student population figures have fluctuated over the years.

At one point, Trout Creek Elementary School had around 100 students.

“Trout Creek is way up from where it was,” she said.

The increase at Giant’s Head Elementary School is significant enough to justify a staff expansion.

“Giant’s Head is up 15 students, so we’ve added one more teacher there,” she said.

Van Alphen said some of the schools have had higher student populations in the past. When she first became a trustee around a decade ago, she said Summerland Secondary School was close to its capacity of 650 students.

Despite the decline, the school will remain open, she added.

“We’re not closing the high school. We’re not even having that discussion,” she said.

Prelimary numbers province-wide show a loss of nearly 6,000 students compared to actual enrolment in the 2012-2013 school year.