Enrolment rises in SD8 for first time in 10 years
By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
For the first time in nearly a decade, enrolment in the Kootenay Lake School District has risen, albeit marginally, with a corresponding jump of almost $1.2 million in extra funding from the Province.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Education on Friday for the 2010-2011 school year, School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) saw their 5,038 full-year enrolment bump to 5,080 for the new school year — the 13th highest gain in the province.
It was the second largest enrolment rise in the Kootenay region, with only Southeast Kootenay having more new students at 71. The only other West Kootenay school district to see a rise was Rocky Mountain with 32 new students.
Arrow Lakes in the north had 11 fewer students, Revelstoke School District lost 36 and the Kootenay-Columbia district lost 79.
The rise was the first in several years in SD8, a district that has had its enrolment and funding eroding since 2002.
Although enrolment continues to decline in schools across the province, this year there was a 626 increase in the total new students enrolled in BC.
The launch of full-day kindergarten in September accounted for more than half of the provincial increase — as it did in SD8 — however, the number of students in grades 1 to 12 in BC declined by 5,282.
Compared to the rest of the province, SD8 had one of the biggest enrolment gains, as 36 of the 60 school districts in the province reported that they have lost students. The biggest gain of students for a school district was Surrey that had 1,497 new students.
The full year operating grant for SD8 rose by $1,215,185 — the 18th highest increase in the province — going from $48.947 million in 2009-2010 to $50.162 million for the current year.
Two years ago SD8 lost around 120 students, and only 80 fewer students were enrolled last year.
The drop in enrolment forced reorganization and reconfiguration of schools in SD8 in 2007 when the district reconfigured schools in Nelson so elementary schools were K to Grade 5, Trafalgar became a Grade 6 to 8 middle school and LV Rogers took on Grade 9 to 12 students.
The five years of reconfiguration saw the closure of several schools in the Nelson area, including Central Elementary School, Gordon Sargent Primary and AI Collinson on the North Shore.
Source: School District No. 8
BC spends $24.2 million every day on students
Overall provincial spending per student in BC has hit a new high of $8,341, a $159 increase from 2009-10 operating grants.
Operating funding for education in 2010-11 was increased by $112 million: $58 million for full-day kindergarten and $54 million to fully fund teachers’ wage settlements. Funding protection ensures that no district will receive less funding than they did in September 2009. This year, 23 districts experiencing declining enrolment are sharing more than $13 million in funding protection.
School districts have reported 556,331 full-time equivalent public school students for the full 2010-11 school year.
Operating grant allocations are based on enrolment information submitted by school districts.
Since 2000-01, the Province has increased funding to B.C. public schools by more than $1.3 billion: $919 million in operating funding and $407 million in one-time grants. During the same period, September enrolment has declined by more than 59,000 students.
Do you want to learn more?
• See the new enrolment and funding information for your district in 2010-11 at
• Read the facts about more funding for B.C. K-12 students at
• See all province-wide enrolment and funding information for 2010-11 at http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/k12funding/funding/10-11/