LAKELAND – The unofficial enrolment numbers for Lakeland Catholic School Division (LCSD) show a minor dip this year.
“The latest report we have from schools indicated that as of Friday, Sept. 11, we had 2,500 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 and 102 preschool students for a total student population of 2,602,” said superintendent Joe Arruda during the trustees meeting on Sept. 16. “Our kindergarten to Grade 12 students are about 90 students less than what we had (previously).”
Arruda explained there were a couple of reasons for this change.
“One of them is that the kindergarten classes are smaller this year due to the school entrance age for kindergarten students,” he noted. “This year, you had to be five by the end of December while last year, and in previous years, you had to be five by the following year. A bunch of students that had birthdays in January, February, and March aren’t in school this year in kindergarten. They have to wait until next year, so this year our kindergarten numbers are lower because of that.”
Over the coming school years, Arruda believes their numbers will increase by the amount they lost this year.
Another factor that came into play for LCSD was there were a number of families who decided to enrol their children in homeschooling instead of the online learning the division was offering.
“The difference with homeschooling and online schooling is that in the online, our teachers are actually teaching the students,” Arruda stated. “We’ve hired some teachers and we’ve allocated some teachers from schools who have lost students or schools that have a lot of students online, we’ve reallocated some of those teachers to teach online.”
The 210 pupils that are enrolled through the Lakeland Catholic Online Learning (LCOL) are registered through their home schools and are included in the numbers being provided by the principals.
For example, if a student was previously enrolled at Dr. Bernard Brosseau School and is participating in LCOL, they would be considered part of the school still and would be counted for the total number of enrolments there.
As of Sept. 11, Dr. Brosseau had 22 students enrolled through LCOL, while Notre Dame Elementary came in at 24 and Notre Dame High School was sitting at 19.
In Cold Lake, Holy Cross Elementary had 24, St. Dominic Elementary School had 30, and Assumption Jr./Sr. High School counted 44.
Holy Family was sitting at four and Light of Christ had 42.
According to Arruda, Notre Dame High School, Assumption Jr./Sr. High School, St. Dominic Elementary School, and Light of Christ Catholic School have all seen an increase in the number of students in their classrooms.
Notre Dame Elementary School, Holy Cross Elementary School, and Dr. Brosseau have all seen a decrease in their enrolment numbers, while Holy Family Catholic School is on par with the numbers from last year.
LCSD’s official enrolment numbers will be available in October after submitting the official count to the provincial government.