East Kensington Elementary has started the school year with its lowest enrolment in at least five years.

Student numbers dip at South Surrey heritage school

Discussions planned to explore how to boost enrolment at East Kensington

As the Surrey School District continues to grapple with overcrowded classrooms across the city, a heritage South Surrey school is struggling with the completely opposite dilemma – how to turn around its lowest student enrolment in at least five years.

District spokesman Doug Strachan confirmed Friday that discussions will get underway this fall around ways to attract students to East Kensington Elementary.

Parents were warned before the summer that enrolment at the 2795 184 St. school may be an issue, Strachan said.

Friday, officials sent a newsletter home advising that just 40 kindergarten to Grade 7 students were enrolled for the 2016-17 school year, and that as a result, staffing would be reduced by one teacher and the grades would be reconfigured into two classes: one for kindergarten and Grade 1 students, and one for students in Grades 2-7.

“I know over the years, our school has had its ups and down with enrolment, and our hope is we will bounce back and that this will be only a short-term challenge,” principal Jennifer Tarnowski writes.

“We are looking for a sustainable long-term solution for East Kensington and will come back to the community this fall with suggestions and ideas for moving forward. We also welcome suggestions and ideas from our community.”

Strachan said the sole Grade 7 student opted this week to change schools, and enrolment may dip further next week if any or all of the three registered Grade 6 students follow suit.

While one parent contacted Peace Arch News Friday to express concerns with the wide spread of grades in one class, Strachan said multi-age classrooms are not a new concept in the district.

“East Kensington has always been like that,” he said.

And given the small number of students overall, it’s “manageable.”

“There’s not going to be any deficiency in education,” he said.

Strachan said it’s too early to say what options may be explored for boosting enrolment, but that officials are hopeful.

“The enrolment has faced its challenges over the years,” he said, describing parents’ concerns as “understandable.”

At the same time, the tight-knit community is the school’s strength, he said, and it’s hoped as word gets out about what it has to offer, enrolment will again climb.

 

Just Posted

Grieving mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Stay home, cats – only pet dogs are OK to attend ‘Cat Walk’ at Surrey park

Surrey Community Cat Coalition’s second annual fundraiser planned Saturday

White Rock’s Mueller wins World Series of Poker bracelet

Third career WSOP win for former professional hockey player

Surrey high school teacher receives Loran award

First ever to be given to Surrey teacher, district says

ZYTARUK: Canal isn’t Surrey’s first ‘different’ idea

Anyone up for waterskiing in Doug’s Ditch?

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read

l -->