Students play outside Royal Oak Middle School. The Saanich School District has seen a slow but steady increase to student enrollment, but says its found creative ways to create room for new students. (File Photo)

Saanich School District’s growing student population a positive challenge: superintendent

SD 63 sees small but steady enrollment growth

The Saanich School District (SD63) might be feeling the pinch of increased enrollment, but there are no plans for additional portable classrooms, at least not this year.

Dave Eberwein, superintendent and CEO of Saanich Schools, says more students is a positive challenge for the district.

“It’s great news that people are coming into the Saanich School District and hearing about the wonderful programs we’re offering,” he said. “It’s a nice healthy trend we’re seeing now, this growth is very positive news for our school district for sure.”

READ ALSO: Saanich School District support staff vote to strike if necessary

The last few years have seen a steady growth in enrollment, said Eberwein, and while this year’s numbers can’t be confirmed quite yet, the current counts are higher than what was anticipated last year – particularly in the southern region of the district.

The growth has been accommodated with the creative redesign of existing spaces – for example computer labs turned into classrooms.

“That’s only sustainable for so long, you can only do that until you run out of those spaces to change,” Eberwein said. “And so that’s why we’re looking down the road, if this trend was to continue, we may certainly in the short-term require some portables and in the long-term apply to the provincial government for funding for school expansions.”

READ ALSO: Local school districts gear up for the new back to school season

But Eberwein emphasized that for now, the district has enough space, and would in no scenario be crowding students into too-full classrooms.

“There are class size limits in place regardless of the overall population of students in the district,” he said. “The school district is obligated to make sure that there are an adequate number of teachers and spaces for them to work in.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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