LAKELAND – Lakeland Catholic School Division (LCSD) is projecting a slight increase in their enrolment for the 2021/22 school year.
During the LCSD board of trustees meeting on April 21, superintendent Joe Arruda said they’re expecting 2,661 students to be in their classrooms or part of their virtual learning program from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
“We’ve basically moved every grade based on the students that we have now and moved them one year ahead and those who are doing homeschooling, we include those as part of our enrolment for next year because we called them and most of them are coming back,” he detailed.
Notre Dame Elementary School is anticipated to have 358, Dr. Bernard Brosseau School could have 296 students, and 387 are projected to be at Notre Dame High School (NDHS).
In Cold Lake, St. Dominic Elementary is expected to have 270, 388 pupils could be at Holy Cross Elementary, and Assumption Jr./Sr. High School may be sitting at around 521 students.
Holy Family Catholic in Waskatenau is projected to have 97 students, Light of Christ Catholic in Lac La Biche could be sitting around 249.
LCSD is also anticipating there will be 66 students participating in homeschooling offered by the division.
Arruda noted they checked in with their school principals prior to the meeting to ensure their numbers were accurate when he presented them to the board.
According to Arruda, the division is anticipating to have 10 Program Unit Funding (PUF) students.
“This year, we had 10 and those will carry on to next year, which is less than we normally have, but we’re using last year’s numbers because the criteria have changed.”
The only category that changed was Kindergarten, Arruda stated.
Typically, LCSD takes the average for the last three years to determine this number and that changed this year due to eligibility for children entering Kindergarten.
“In the new school year, you have to be at least five-years-old by Dec. 31,” Arruda detailed. “In essence, last year, a student that was born in January or February, we didn’t accept them because that’s what the new law said. We have those students back so that’s why the Kindergarten numbers are at 246, where in the past, they would be around 220 something. That’s a big difference.”
LCSD provides Alberta Education with their projected number of students for the upcoming year. This figure, which is 2,661, is used to determine the funding the school division will receive from the province.
The number Arruda presented to the board would be an increase to the official enrolment LCSD had for the current school year. There were 2,459 counted in their schools as of Sept. 20, 2020, which was a loss of 126 pupils compared to the previous year. The eligibility of Kindergarten was one of the factors for this loss. Other causes include families choosing to homeschool their children, students moving out of the province or to other jurisdictions, among others.