Summerland enrolment numbers show decline

While the Okanagan Skaha School District has more students than last year, Summerland’s enrolment figures tell a different story.

Students at Trout Creek Elementary School presented their winter concert

While the Okanagan Skaha School District has more students than last year, Summerland’s enrolment figures tell a different story.

“What Summerland is seeing is a loss of students,” said Linda Van Alphen, chair of the school board. “We have had a gain across the district, but there are some schools that are declining.”

According to figures from the provincial Ministry of Education, British Columbia’s school enrolment numbers grew by 5,676 students over the past year.

The Okanagan Skaha School District has 19 more students than in 2015.

In Summerland, the number of students has dropped by 18.

Statistics from the school district show Giant’s Head Elementary School and Summerland Secondary School each saw an additional eight students this school year.

At Summerland Middle School, the student population dropped by 12 students and at Trout Creek Elementary School, there were 22 fewer students than a year earlier.

This drop is roughly equivalent to one classroom. Under class size limits, a Kindergarten class has 20 or fewer students, while a Grade 1 to 3 class has no more than 24 students.

There are now 160 students at Trout Creek Elementary School, down from 182 last year and 198 the year earlier.

Summerland Middle School now has 305 students, down from 317 a year earlier.

Last year, the school district was considering school closures, including the possibility of closing a Summerland school.

Initially, the plan was to close Giant’s Head Elementary School and reconfigure the remaining three schools. Later, Trout Creek Elementary School was considered for closure.

Advocates of the school said enrolment was expected to increase, since new houses are under construction in the neighbourhood.

Mayor Peter Waterman said there is considerable construction activity in Trout Creek.

“The disturbance last year, with the question of whether the school was to be open, may have had an impact on enrolment,” he said.

He added that there is the possibility for student numbers to increase in the near future.

“Our building starts and building permits are way up,” he said.

A proposed seniors’ facility in the Banks Crescent area could also affect school enrolment numbers.

The development, with 380 units for seniors, would also bring 75 to 100 jobs, he said.

While all four Summerland public schools remain open today, Van Alphen said a discussion on the future of the community’s schools may return in the next two years if the enrolment figures continue to decline.

 

Just Posted

Hwy. 97 reopened after Trout Creek collision

No details on injuries or cause yet

Foreigner feeling like the first time after 40

Foreigner doesn’t miss a beat after 40 years

Update: Police expand search in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Examination continues in Silver Creek, while another search happens between Salmon Arm and Enderby

Octoberfest is the toast of the town

Eighth annual night of fun, music and brews

Five decades of volunteering

Even though she is approaching 70, Merle kindred continues to volunteer around the world

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Raven story shines light at Children’s Showcase

Season opener of the Children’s Showcase in Penticton

Okanagan Taste: Snacks and what to pair with them

Your guide to for the go-to snacks and beverage pairings for sports season

Most Read