District predicts drop in student enrolment to continue

Desks will continue to empty in Nanaimo school district for the next couple of years.

Phil Turin, secretary-treasurer, provided trustees at Wednesday’s business committee meeting with the latest enrolment projections.

The district lost more than 300 students this year compared with last year and enrolment is expected to decline by 68 students next year and 83 students in 2014-15 before gaining 179 students in 2015-16 and 88 students in 2016-17.

Jamie Brennan, school board chairman, said these numbers come as no surprise – it is what was predicted several years ago: continued decline and then small increases.

“The increase is marginal, it’s not as dramatic as some people expect,” he said. “The in-migration in the area is largely older people without school-age kids.”

Brennan said this prediction is a rough estimate based on current enrolment and the board has commissioned a more detailed enrolment report that should be ready next month.

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