More expected to go back to school in New West this year
There should be a few more students walking through the doors of New Westminster schools this week.
The district is projecting its kindergarten to Grade 12 total enrollment to be 5,977, giving New West an increase of about 50 students from September 2011. New Westminster and Surrey are two districts with increasing enrolment which bucks the trend of declining student population in much of the rest of the province.
District figures project enrolment at 2,974 for elementary, which is up 106 from September 2011. It’s expected 874 will be in New West’s middle schools, Glenbrook and Queensborough, which is 30 more than last year. New Westminster secondary and other district secondary programs are projected to have 2,129 students.
That is a drop of 100 from September 2011.
The district expects to have 270 students in its home learners programs, a drop of seven, and 164 in international education, which is 17 less than 2011.
“We’re looking forward to a very positive and productive year ahead. We’ve got a lot of projects on the go,” said district superintendent John Woudzia.
Unlike last September when the school year began with labour unrest that didn’t end until a one-year deal was reached in June, there will be some certainty to the district’s day-to-day operations between district officials and administrators, and teachers.
“We’re just looking forward to a real positive and exciting relationship,” said Woudzia.
The district hopes it will finally be able to put a shovel in the ground for the new elementary school on the old St. Mary’s Hospital site. Three firms were recently shortlisted for the design-build process.
“We’re very excited about the progress being made,” said Woudzia. “Once that gets underway we’ll turn our sights to the middle school at [the site of the current John Robson elementary]. We’re looking forward to substantial progress being made on our capital projects. Finally, we’re getting down to some business.
“We’re hopeful the high school this year will get formal approval from the government. Once we demonstrate we’re underway with those two schools (St. Mary’s and Robson) then hopefully we can go back to Victoria for that.”