It’s nearly time to head back on the bus, with the school year starting up again on Tuesday, Sept. 5. — File

Nearly time to head back to school in Parksville Qualicum Beach

SD69 awaits registration numbers to request more funding

The days are a bit shorter, the mercury isn’t climbing quite as high, and summer trips are winding down.

It must be about time to head back to school.

School District 69 (Qualicum) is expecting about 4,180 full time students to be entering local classrooms this September, but there’s a lot that’s uncertain until district staff know exactly how many students actually enrol.

With much of school funding tied to the number of students, SD69 is awaiting final numbers to make a case to the Ministry of Education for more funding to provide additional staff, said SD69 superintendant Rollie Koop.

Students who are new to the district must register in person at their local school and produce the required documentation, according to SD69’s school registration information. That info and registration documentation can be found at www.sd69.bc.ca/About/StudentRegistration/Pages/default.aspx.

Elementary school registration will run from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, between 9 a.m. and noon each day.

Secondary school registration began Aug. 28 and continues to Sept. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Applications for enrolment for PASS/Woodwinds and the Continuing Education Centre are accepted throughout the school year.

For info on the Collaborative Education Alternative Program’s (CEAP) distance learning program, contact CEAP at ceap@sd69.bc.ca or 250-752-5628.

The first day of school is Sept. 5, though Grade 9-12 students at Ballenas and Kwalikum secondary schools attend the first day by appointment via the counselling department.

After the first two weeks of the school year, the district will be able to take stock of its actual number of students, and adjust staffing levels accordingly, said Koop.

The district will also look to make the case to the Ministry of Education for the second time regarding more funding.

Since the Supreme Court decision to require the provincial government to restore collective bargaining language on class size and composition from 2002, the province has doled out funds to pay for an increase in staffing dictated by that language.

SD69 estimated it was short 9.1 non-enrolling teacher positions, or $956,000.

In response to the district’s first request for those funds, the ministry replied in June with a commitment of $400,000, but added that the district can make another request in October after final student enrolment is known.

In last year’s preliminary budget, the professional staffing levels were at 261.9 full-time equivalent staff members. Based on the current budget and projected enrolment, this year’s projected staffing is 286.12 for the preliminary budget. However Koop noted that some of that increase is due to Learning and Priority Measures staffing which came partway through last year.

Story tips: adam.kveton@pqbnews.com

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