School enrolment numbers continue to climb
Rocky View Schools Briefs: From the Oct. 18 meeting
The number of students continues to grow in Rocky View Schools.
Final numbers presented to the trustees in a report for information, shows a five per cent increase in students, a total of 886 people from 2011 to 2012.
Broken down into sectors, Chestermere saw the largest growth at seven per cent, Cochrane 5.4, Airdrie five, Springbank/ Bragg Creek with 3.5 and Beiseker/Kathyrn with 5.2. Crossfield was the only sector to show a decline with -0.8 per cent.
The report also reviewed numbers for the Calgary Roman Catholic Separate School District (CRCSSD), showing a 4.5 per cent increase or 2,100 more students. In the area overlapping with Rocky View Schools, CRCSSD grew by 175 students or 5.6 per cent.
“The Catholic schools are taking our students almost overnight,” noted Trustee Don Thomas. “It’s because of our difficulties finding space for them.”
He said the No. 1 priority for the board is advocating to the Province for getting enough schools.
Trustee Sylvia Eggerer advocated for more family school liaison (FSL) workers in Rocky View Schools.
An information report, outlining the role of the four FSL workers was presented to the trustees for review.
Currently, two are located in Muriel Clayton in Airdrie, one in Chestermere and one in Cochrane.
The FSL worker is responsible for the delivery of short-term support and intervention for students who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioural difficulties.
“They are vital in bringing the school and home communities together,” said Eggerer. “These kinds of people, we need more of. Given the recent media coverage of vulnerable children making poor decisions, to be able to have someone to go home with the child is good.”
She asked Superintendent Greg Bass to take a look at the issue again and see what people are saying about the ability to maintain services as the numbers in the schools continue to increase.
Trustee Bev LaPeare also asked if there were enough FSL workers.
Bass said expectation levels for FSL workers have increased and said “we’re very happy with the level we have there.”
He noted feedback from schools suggests the four workers are fulfilling their roles and added the learning department is also happy with the service.
Bass said he will take the information forward and ask whether consideration to hire more FSL workers will be made if the funding for the service were to increase in the coming year.
Another Airdrie school will open its doors to other students within Rocky View Schools starting next year.
An update of the RVS’ high school programming model was presented to the trustees.
The model includes the cooperation and collaboration between high schools to increase program offerings.
High schools in Airdrie have coordinated schedules to help students move between schools to take part in courses such as cosmetology, Japanese, fashion and forensics. Next year, WG Murdoch will offer mechanics and X-Cel programs.
In preparation for the new high school opening in 2014 in Airdrie, the report stated the next step will be to meet with Airdrie and north-area administrators and determine how to offer the most comprehensive programs for students in the area.
The report was accepted as information only.