As Adrienne Capner and her sister

As Adrienne Capner and her sister

Enrolment expected to rise slightly

Red Deer Public School officials are cautiously optimistic that student enrolment will rise slightly this fall.

Red Deer Public School officials are cautiously optimistic that student enrolment will rise slightly this fall.

But initial projections of a 200-student gain when classes start on Thursday, Sept. 1, were downgraded to 100 students because “we want to be safe,” said the district’s community relations director Bruce Buruma.

Considering the city’s overall population has fallen by about 1,000 people in this difficult economy, Buruma said the district opted to only budget for 100 new students.

“The entire community is recognizing what (the economy) is like… Hopefully, (the downturn ) will just be a short-term thing,” he added.

Some 10,500 pupils were registered in the public district last June. Buruma said a one per cent growth rate is projected for September, based on Alberta Education spread sheets and local demographics. Since Red Deer has a younger population, he expects most gains will be in pre-school and elementary grades.

Some student shuffling will be happening over the next few years as two new schools come on stream. Construction on the Don Campbell K-5 school in Inglewood is ahead of schedule, said Buruma, with an expected September 2017 opening.

West Park Middle School is also being rebuilt on a different location on school property. It’s expected to be ready in the fall of 2019.

Meanwhile, the public district is planning to repurpose Grandview school for K-8 Spanish Immersion students, and is closing Pines School — at least until more people move Red Deer’s northeast. Buruma said in order to reopen, Pines School would need 1,000 additional students in the area.

The Red Deer Catholic School District is also projecting a one per cent enrolment increase, amounting to about 90 students. This is a modest expectation for the 9,000-student district, which has had previous annual increases of three per cent or higher. But projections were lowered because of the tighter economy, said Ken Jaeger, superintendent of support services.

Returning Catholic students will find more classroom space in Father Henri Voisin School in Clearview Ridge and St. Francis of Assisi School in Lancaster. Both gained modular classrooms. However, the installation of St. Elizabeth Seaton’s additional classrooms is delayed until the end of September, so Jaeger expects some classes will continue in the school library until then.

However, construction is ahead of schedule on St. Joseph’s High School in Timberlands, which is expected to open by the fall of 2017. The same opening date is set for the new St. Gregory the Great School in Blackfalds.

And in Innisfail, Jaeger said St. Marguerite Bourgeoys School has gained two new wings.

School preparations in the Chinook’s Edge division mean that 30 new teachers are taking part in a four-day orientation. This includes a mentoring program in which incoming teachers are paired with educational veterans, who help them with professional development and offer support and encouragement.

Emma Turville, a new Grade 8 teacher at Bowden’s Grandview School, praised the approach, saying “There is 100 per cent support and good will… everyone wants us to do well.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Mountain Cree Traditional Band headquarters in Mirror, Alta. has been the target of theft and vandalism. (Photo submitted)
Vandals attack: Artifacts worth $1M gone from central Alberta museum

AWNTB says not enough been done to deter crime in Mirror, Alta.

Eleven more Albertans die from COVID-19

There were 739 people in hospital, 120 in ICU on Monday

Red Deer city transit will return to full capacity this weekend. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Red Deer Transit increasing frequency of buses beginning Wednesday

Many routes will run on 30-minute intervals

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre can accommodate up to 20 patients requiring a ventilator, says Alberta Health Services. File photo by Advocate staff
Man critical of wife’s treatment at Red Deer hospital

An Alberta man says the recent treatment of his wife at the… Continue reading

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store fracking water

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney attends a news conference in Calgary on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Kenney says killing Keystone sets risky precedent, puts Alberta on hook for $1B

Kenney says killing Keystone sets risky precedent, puts Alberta on hook for $1B

The CBC logo is projected onto a screen at The Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. A review of the CBC's licence renewal applications enters its second phase today, with presentations from various organizations and individuals, some of whom are calling for greater accountability and transparency from the public broadcaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Private broadcasters’ group argues CBC is disrupting the market by selling ads

Private broadcasters’ group argues CBC is disrupting the market by selling ads

A sign board displays the TSX's close on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
S&P/TSX composite edges higher despite energy trending down on Keystone XL news

S&P/TSX composite edges higher despite energy trending down on Keystone XL news

World Juniors’ referee Mike Langin makes a called during the Canada vs. Slovakia at the 2021 World Junior Championship at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Dec. 27, 2020. (Photo by Matthew Murnaghan/Hockey Canada)
Former Sylvan Lake man lives his dream at World Junior Championships

Mike Langin was one the 25 Canadian officials who worked during the tournament

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Blanchet’s choice to block critics on Twitter limits free speech: experts

OTTAWA — Dozens of people say Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet has… Continue reading

Jimmy Melvin Jr. is escorted from Nova Scotia provincial court in Halifax on Monday, July 20, 2015. One of the most notorious crime figures in Nova Scotia has been declared a dangerous offender. Melvin Jr. was handed an indeterminate sentence today in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘Real and present danger’: Nova Scotia crime figure deemed dangerous offender

HALIFAX — One of the most notorious crime figures in Nova Scotia… Continue reading

In this April 13, 2020, photo provided by TC Energy, construction contractors for TC Energy are seen installing a section of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline at the U.S.-Canada border north of Glasgow, Mont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-TC Energy via AP
An outright ‘No’: Biden’s Day 1 Keystone XL kibosh bodes ill for Canada-U.S. ties

WASHINGTON — North America’s perennial pipeline debate erupted anew Monday as president-elect… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Quebec Premier Francois Legault leave a press conference in Ottawa on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Provinces delaying or revisiting vaccine programs as Pfizer delays dose deliveries

OTTAWA — At least three provinces are now temporarily delaying or pausing… Continue reading

Most Read