Grande Prairie & District Catholic Schools has seen enrolment rise by five per cent this year. Superintendent Karl Germann says numbers are up from Kindergarten all the way to grade 12.
“We’re a school district now of over 5,000 kids; about two years ago we were 4,500. It was a little unexpected; we were expecting about a one per cent increase, that’s what we were planning for, so the extra enrolment was nice to see.”
While the opening of St. Catherine K to 8 School in Royal Oaks has helped to relieve some of the pressure, Germann says the school division is still advocating for another elementary, as well as a junior/senior high.
“We’re saying we need another elementary school right now, and the reason for that is it takes about three years to get a school from planning to opening. It takes at least a year for planning and design and tender and then it takes at least another year to year and a half for construction, so that work needs to occur now.”
The school they’re looking for would have room for more than 950 students for long-term planning. Germann adds it’s pleasant surprise to see that even though some families have moved away from the Grande Prairie region during the downturn, there’s still an increase.