Thursday, 15 September 2016 08:00

Enrolment in PRSD in better shape than expected

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Preliminary enrolment numbers for Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) are making central office administration and board trustees sigh with relief.

The board was presented with a report about enrolment at the Sept. 13 regular meeting. Enrolment numbers are not finalized until Sept. 30, but so far they look good for the division compared to what was estimated earlier this year.
Ryan Boser, secretary-treasurer, reported that in grades 1-12 rather than an estimated decrease of 47 students, so far there has only been a decrease of 11. The numbers get even better as division officials see an influx of ECS students with early enrolment numbers showing an increase of 23 students from estimates done earlier this year. Overall, that means an increase of 0.5 FTE students this school year, if the numbers hold until Sept. 30.
“So it’s much better news than we’ve had the last two years when we came in below our estimates,” says Superintendent Brian Andjelic. “With rural de-population continuing and hits to the oilfield that have taken place and people moving away, we’re really pleased with that number. We need to give special thanks to the principals who paid special attention to their estimates.”
The enrolment coming in so close to estimates has meant for a fairly smooth start to this school year, with PRSD students heading back to classrooms at the end of August prior to Labour Day.
“With the unemployment rate up in the area, and southeast Alberta reporting a high percentage of, not just unemployment, but under-employment ... we think the news is about as good as we could have hoped for,” added Andjelic.
Total enrolment numbers so far for the division in grades 1-12 are 2,993, which does not include those in Beyond Walls. ECS students total 214.
“What that means for funding, when you break it down by division, division one is up about 14.5 students,” said Boser.
That is the division which receives class-size funding, so it equates to about an increase of $25,400 in additional base funding over what was estimated, not including any other grants.
“September 30th is the big day,” pointed out Andjelic. “That’s the day that matters.”
The board will receive a final enrolment report at its Oct. 11 meeting.
Organizational meeting
PRSD trustees held the annual organizational meeting Sept. 13, prior to the regular board meeting.
There were no significant changes with trustees roles or representation on main boards. Stuart Angle was returned as chair and Kathy Cooper as vice-chair. Cooper will also be the board’s representative on the Public School Boards Association of Alberta while Christie Dick will be the alternate. Representing the board on the Alberta School Boards Association Zone 6 will be Arnold Frank with Angle as the alternate.
Both Angle and Cooper were appreciate of their fellow trustees’ endorsements as chair and vice-chair respectively.
“I am both honoured and humbled,” said Angle. “I hope to serve you well.”
“Stuart and I are good partners, so thank you,” added Cooper.

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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