This report was presented to the Board at the school board meeting of January 24th.
From the introduction:
The purpose of this report is not to change history, or debate historical decisions, but rather to learn from the past as we look to the future.
As a parent organization, we see future capacity issues with schools in our district, and have shown these issues in this report. There is already not enough capacity in certain elementary schools to accommodate all students who wish to attend those schools, and we see this problem becoming more common in the future in certain areas of the district.
As an example, at the start of the 2011/12 school year, one class in Prince George spent the first months of the school year meeting in a school library as there is no room for them in the school. A number of elementary schools have had their registration capped, and students have been turned away from their neighbourhood schools.
The District Parent Advisory Council would like to see an annual report on the condition of our district’s student enrolment and capacity. This report would be delivered to the school board at a public board meeting, prior to kindergarten registration and the start of the district transfer process, and also be in time to provide assistance to the budget committee when preparing the following year’s budget. The report would provide information on any caps on registration or transfers, and would also provide the board and the public with information on any problem areas.
There should be time built in for dialogue, discussion, collaboration, and consensus building to take place about options for dealing with capacity issues, and this discussion should not take place in the eleventh hour.
In this report, we have looked at the historic enrolment numbers and projected enrolment numbers, and compared them to the capacity of our schools. This is the type of visual information that can be generated and provided to Board members and the public to ensure that people understand the historical impact of declining enrolment, increases in enrolment, and school closures. This type of information could easily be included in an annual report so that trends can be clearly visualized.