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Lakeland Catholic sees strong enrolment numbers to start the year

A portable classroom will be moved from Cold Lake to Bonnyville to help create more space for students at École Notre Dame High School.
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A student from Assumption Jr./Sr. High School in Cold Lake takes part in the Student Vote election Sept. 17.

LAKELAND - Although the numbers aren't yet official, Lakeland Catholic School Division (LCSD) is very close to being on par with its projection for the 2021/22 school year - although one school is showing a significant increase in students.

“We are very close to our projections. Unofficial enrolment is showing we are ahead of our original predictions for the 2021-2022 school year with all but one of our schools experiencing an increase in enrolment," said Superintendent Pamela Guilbault.

Assumption Jr./Sr. High School in Cold Lake is up over 50 students, heard the board of trustees, during the Sept. 15 regular meeting. Specifically, it's the junior high portion of the school that has experienced an increase.

"Assumption Jr./Sr. High School in Cold Lake is showing tremendous growth, with an increase of 55 students over our projected numbers," said Guilbault.

Students joining Assumption Jr./Sr. High School were coming from a variety of places, such as other surrounding school divisions, First Nations communities, and out of province. 

The increase in enrolment was described as being good news, and points to the notion that parents and students are happy with how things are being done in LCSD schools. "We have confidence in the work that is happening across our division," said the superintendent.

According to the unofficial enrolment numbers, there are 2,650 students enrolled with LCSD from Kindergarten to Grade 12, along with six PUF students.

Portable to be moved

Due to additional students at École Notre Dame High School in Bonnyville, the board approved a motion to allow for a portable classroom to be moved from Holy Cross Elementary School in Cold Lake to École Notre Dame. 

"We have teachers without spaces there," said Guilbault, during Wednesday's meeting. The cost to move the portable is pegged at $45,000, but the board approved a motion to move the portable up to a cost of $50,000.

Work to move the portable was expected to start as soon as possible. Board members asked if one portable was enough, to which is was noted more work would be required if additional portables were moved to the school.

The unofficial enrolment numbers presented on Wednesday did not include the 43 students currently enrolled in online learning. While there are a significant number of students enrolled in online learning, it is assumed that many of them will return to the classroom, at some point.

The school division has instructors specifically assigned to leading online learners, and the division is making extra effort to search out ways to engage with online learners. The school division is using similar models of support that are used in its schools, to help support students who are learning from home.

Last year, there were over 200 students enrolled in online learning.

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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