Catholic schools hit by high enrolment
the edmonton catholic School division has seen twice the increase in students this year than it was expecting.
Last June the school division said it expected to educate 613 more students this school year. Now that classes are in session John Fiacco, assistant superintendent of educational planning, said catholic schools in the city have had an increase of 1,241 students compared to last year. that represents a 2.9 per cent increase across the division, bringing the total number of students to 44,330.
“We saw a big jump in numbers in the Grade 12 area. We also saw an increase in kindergarten, as well as younger families coming in,” said Fiacco.
Fiacco said spaces not intended to be used for classes, such as libraries, are holding classes. He said archbishop O’leary High School on 132 avenue has had to annex space from a neighbouring junior high.
“So we’re seeing the crunch at the high school level, especially in the north,” said Fiacco. “We can’t see how we can continue to offer the programs to all the students in the north just having one high school in that area.”
catholic schools are not alone in their growth. edmonton Public Schools saw an increase of more than 3,000 students this year.
assistant superintendent Lorne Parker said the school board has grown by 30 per cent since 2011.
“We’ve been consistently growing by approximately 3,000 students a year. So this is our eighth year in a row where we’ve seen that kind of growth,” said Parker. “almost all of the south is our fastestgrowing area and much of our growth has occurred there. Since 2011 we’ve grown by over 30 per cent.”
Last year 19 public schools in the city were more than 100 per cent utilized and 59 schools were between 85 and 99 per cent utilized, Parker said.
the largest increase this year came in the form of junior high students, with 1,322 additional students. the board also saw an increase of 971 elementary students, while the number of kindergarten students increased by 971 and high school enrolment increased by 371 students.