Back to class: More students enrolled in Vancouver Island schools this year

Back to class: More students enrolled in Vancouver Island schools this year
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WATCH: The minister of education says there are smaller class sizes and more teachers in B.C. this year. April Lawrence takes a look at the numbers for Vancouver Island.

As the first school bell of the year rang out Tuesday morning there were even more students rushing into Vancouver Island classrooms.

According to the Ministry of Education for the 2018/2019 school year, it is projected that there will be 84,050 funded full-time equivalent students attending public schools on Vancouver Island.  That’s an increase of 1.3 per cent from 2017/2018.

The largest school district on Vancouver Island is SD61 (Greater Victoria) with 19,155 full-time students attending public schools.  The smallest school district on Vancouver Island is SD84 (Vancouver Island West) with 435 students projected.

There are more kids enrolled in kindergarten this year than there were when the full-time program started six years ago.

In 2011/2012 there were 5,616 kindergarten students in enrolled in public schools on Vancouver Island.  In 2018/19 it is projected that there will be 6,125, an increase of 9.1 per cent.

And they’ll be getting more attention according to B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming because the government has added hundreds of new teachers.

“We have the smallest class sizes we’ve had in generations in British Columbia,” Fleming said in Vancouver Tuesday morning. “On average kindergarten classes in B.C. have 19 students or less today, a significant reduction, and that means more one-on-one learning time for kids, he said.

The Education Ministry and school districts across the province are still working to fill the teacher crunch, particularly for French Immersion which set a new enrollment record last year.

In 2017/2018 9.5 per cent of all public school students in B.C. were registered in French Immersion. For Vancouver Island, it was 14.5 per cent and the district with the highest enrollment per capita was Greater Victoria with 19.1 per cent of students enrolled.

There were 7,870 students enrolled in private schools in 2017/18 and 338 students homeschooled.

The average cost of educating each student enrolled in public school in 2018/2019 is $9,271. At that rate, the cost of educating one child from kindergarten through grade 12 would be $120,523.

 

April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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