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North East School Division enrollments increase by 84 students

Funding from the Ministry of Education is dependent on how many students the division has in any given year.
North East School Division 1
4,828 students are enrolled this year, an increase of 84 from last year.

EAST CENTRAL — A total of 4,828 students were enrolled in North East School Division (NESD) schools at the end of September this year, an increase from the previous year, which had 4,744.

 “Our enrolments are up by about 84 students, which is very encouraging to see that our numbers are increasing because in the past we’ve had a tendency to lose about a 100 students,” said Marla Walton, NESD’s board chair. “We’re hoping this is a forward trend.”

Funding from the Ministry of Education is dependent on how many students the division has in any given year.

Walton said that at the present time the board isn’t aware of the specific factors leading to an increase, whether its students moving into the division area, beginning school, or another varying factor.

Unlike some other divisions within the province, including Horizon, the NESD didn’t give the option for students to enrol in virtual in the 2021-22 school year.

Walton said the board wanted to give students a normal learning experience by keeping them in school as much as possible.

“It gives the students a wholesome educational experience,” she said.

“The children are able to interact with their peers, they’re able to have face-to-face learning, they’re able to participate in extracurricular activities, they develop school spirit, school pride, they can work with one another as they go through their learning experience – it is the best model.”  

While she hasn’t been informed of any negative feedback related to their decision, she said she can assume some people might be disappointed with the route.

“I think for the most part parents are very happy to have the kids back in school and the kids are happy to be back in school to be with their peers, to be with their teachers, to be in an inclusive learning environment.”

If a situation arises where an outbreak is declared at a school, students may be put into a virtual learning environment, which the board prepared for. Walton said that so far the division hasn’t had to go that route.

“We’re very grateful that we’ve been able to keep kids in schools,” Walton said. “There have been a few times where we’ve had to suspend extracurricular activities in a school, but it was short lived. We did it based on recommendations and in consultation with public health.”