Principal asks trustees to allow for gradual increase in enrolment

NANAIMO – Departure Bay Eco-school sees numerous expression of interest from out-of-catchment parents.

While Departure Bay Elementary Eco-School will gain space with relocation of the Learn at Home K-7 program, the school’s top administrator cautions against increasing enrolment too quickly.

The Learn at Home kindergarten to Grade 7 program is currently housed at the school, but will be amalgamated with the Grade 8 to 12 program and relocated to the Mount Benson school site for the 2016-17 school year.

At the school district education committee meeting Wednesday, Lisa Frey, school principal, said increasing the number of students should be measured.

“I know with Learn at Home leaving, there will be people that expect that the building will be full, but we do have to understand that that has to happen gradually or else we may be very quickly in a situation where we wouldn’t be able to accommodate our catchment area,” said Frey.

A year after receiving eco-academy designation from the school district, the school is seeing numerous expressions of interest, with 60 out-of-catchment students from across the district expressing interest for 2016-17, Frey said.

Unlike French immersion, which doesn’t have a catchment area, Frey said the eco-academy has to consider catchment and out-of-catchment students. That makes it trickier to sort the numbers out, she said.

“We will be contacting the families that we have space for at the end of March,” said Frey.

Nanaimo News Bulletin