Over 400 students and their families have withdrawn from School District 57 to pursue other educational opportunities leading to a decline in enrollment.

The changes mean some schools will be losing a class while others are gaining one leading some kids to adjust to a different learning group.

Tim Bennett, SD57 Board Chair | (Photo supplied by My PG Now.com staff)

Board Chair, Tim Bennett told MyPGNow.com the drop in population will have an impact on their bottom line.

“This has a direct impact on our district’s budget as we are funded on a per-student model. We have seen an increase in our distance learning, which will help offset some of the budget pressure but at the end of the day, we are projecting a 2.3-million dollar shortfall.”

Eighteen teachers within the school district will be redeployed to different positions as a result.

“Those teachers will most likely not be at the schools they are currently teaching at. It’s a process called “being surplus”, however, with the increase to our distance learning program some teachers will be moved to distance learning, we have added some to our homestay program and we currently have vacancies that have come up over the months due to things like maternity or medical leave.”

“We will be able to move some of those teachers to those said vacancies and in the event that there are not enough vacancies to cover the 18 teachers impacted we have the ability to place them as Priority Teachers Teaching On Call where they would go to the top of the list when there is a vacancy until a contracted position comes up,” mentioned Bennett.

He added three schools have seen an increase in the number of students attending while there are 12 elementary schools that have lost a class.

“Knowing the situation firsthand, as this has affected my family as well, I can completely understand the angst and anxiety that everyone is feeling. This is not the way we wanted to start our school year.”

“Kids within their class may end up getting moved to the new division spreading out the children within the classes in their schools. When a school is losing a division (class) it means children within that class, the teacher as I mentioned will be redeployed to a different position throughout the district. We don’t anticipate these changes will translate into any actual job loss.”

SD 57 will be submitting its final numbers to the Ministry of Education on Wednesday (September 30th).