The Grande Prairie Public School District will be keeping a close eye on how often students miss class this year. It’s created a new program called “Every Day Matters” as a way to try to keep attendance rates up.

Superintendent Sandy McDonald doesn’t believe skipping school is a major problem for the school division. However, he says it’s important students make an effort to show up because its a skill that will help them in the future.

“This is the kind of habit people take with them when school’s done and they move into further schooling or into the workplace…We want them to think about how this will translate to life after school.

As for overall enrollment numbers in the division this year, McDonald says it is still too early to tell but is expecting to see a 2 percent increase in students.

“Early indications are that we’ll be right at about what we projected and that should put us, in Preschool to grade 12, around 8,400 students.”

McDonald says the rest of the school year should be business as usual as it is the first time in two years the district will not be opening a new school.