Chilliwack school district to study enrolment

Staff will look at enrolment figures at north side schools to help plan for the future of education in Chilliwack

The Chilliwack school district will begin a thorough review of north side school capacities, with a full report expected in early 2016.

Superintendent Evelyn Novak said there are numerous reasons for launching the review, including overcrowding on the south side and the need for a high school French immersion program on the north side.

“The schools on the south side are at full and over-capacity and there is currently no room for movement,” Novak said. “Some of the schools on the north side are not at full capacity, and we want to understand that so that we can plan for the future.”

The review will include consultation with staff, parents and the community, to “ensure we are providing the best possible learning opportunities for all of our students.”

Parents are also asking for the French immersion program to be expanded to include a high school option at Chilliwack secondary. Currently, students enrolled in French immersion must all attend Sardis secondary to continue studying in French through to graduation. It is believed to be one reason for a drop out level from the French program in higher grades. The school district is also beginning to track French immersion student movement to learn how to better provide the program.

“All of these considerations require further study, information and analysis, related to capacities and enrolment,” Novak said.

jpeters@theprogress.com