While the final tally of student numbers this year in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district won't be finally determined until next week, the projections are for higher numbers than anticipated.
District spokeswoman Donna Reimer said the projected numbers so far indicate that the almost 40 schools in Nanaimo-Ladysmith have almost 12,830 students registered so far for the 2013-14 school year, up slightly from the 12,808 that were registered last year. The numbers are still well below the approximately 16,000 students that were registered in the district 10 years ago, before changing demographics and other factors took hold,
but it's expected the number of students in the district will gradually increase over the next decade. Reimer said the numbers appear to be up slightly in the elementary schools and down in the district's high schools.
She said the dust has began to settle in local schools after the first few weeks of the classes in the new school year and almost all students currently registered in the district have found places in the classrooms in their schools that fit within designated class sizes and composition limits.
She said it typically takes a few weeks at the beginning of each school year to ensure students are where they should be and registered in their proper courses, but that's to be expected in a district that has almost 13,000 students.
Mike Ball, president of the Nanaimo District Teachers' Association, said the data to determine if the district is meeting class size and composition requirements won't be known until the end of the month.
Ball said that while it's likely that the district will meet the controversial class size requirements, it's still unclear whether its schools will meet the legal class composition requirements.
The issue of class size and composition in B.C. schools is currently before the B.C. Supreme Court, with a final decision expected in the spring of 2014.
"With such a large student body, it's normal for some students to move away from the area without informing the district and for others to show up that we haven't counted on," Reimer said.
"Until we are certain of the final number of students, it's hard for us to make the necessary adjustments. It takes awhile to sort everything out, but we've finally gotten to that point."
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