By October, students are mainly settled in their classes and comfortable with any new routines, faces and schedules. Within the district, we are now getting a good snapshot of how engaged our families are with the work that we do in the classroom every day. What is becoming very clear is that our high achievement, solid reputation and specialty programming continues to be a big draw for families within our district, from surrounding communities and around the world.
As you may have read in the North Shore News, student enrolment is up this year – we currently have about 7,300 students, which is not only up from our spring projection, but also up from last year. This is a great news story for public education, which is the clear choice for the majority of our local residents. Our most recent data indicates that about 84% of Kindergarten aged students in our community attend public schools.
A very exciting statistic has come out of our French Immersion programs this month, which have 998 students enrolled this year – the highest ever French Immersion registration in the district. While French Immersion has a long history in West Vancouver, we conducted a review in recent years. Staff has been working hard to implement the recommendations of a major community consultation that involved parents, students and teaching staff. The end result is a clear endorsement of that work and a great part of the growing West Vancouver Schools success story.
Other specialty programs continue to show growth as well; we have some 200 students registered in secondary school sports academies, which include baseball, basketball, fencing, hockey, soccer and tennis, and there is solid enrolment in the Ignite Your Passion program at the elementary level and the District Honour Choir program.
With enrolment up, the district is in a better position to not only continue providing excellence in education, but also consider expanding some of our offerings. Look to this column in future editions of Learning Curve for updates on new programming for 2016.