Registration for kindergarten in September continues – and Karl deBruijn hopes plenty of people take advantage of it.
The assistant superintendent for School District 73 said the recent week of formal registration saw fewer students registered than he had expected.
“I had expected 960, but we were 138 down from what we had anticipated,” deBruijn said.
He can’t say for certain, but suspects the lower numbers are a result of the three-day teachers’ strike during the five days of registration at schools.
“They weren’t picket lines, but they looked like it,” deBruijn said of teachers demonstrating outside schools during the three-day work stoppage.
“Who knows? Maybe that stopped people from coming or maybe they were at home with their kids who couldn’t go to school those three days.”
DeBruijn said kindergarten registrations in the past three years were 989, 943 and 961 students, respectively, so he felt another 960 estimate was valid for 2012.
“There’s been a levelling off at the kindergarten level the last yew years.”
The immediate impact is in projected budgeting because classes and teacher-hirings will be based on the enrolment figure.
The dollar value of 138 fewer students is $900,000, deBruijn said – although, when the final numbers are determined after the 2012-2013 school year begins, the province will address any discrepancies in funding.
In terms of teachers, the shortfall represents about 10 teachers.
“It’s worrisome because the number is so big,” deBruijn said, noting the shortfall is scattered throughout the city.
Although notices go out to day-care centres and to all families with children in the school system, as well as through media advertisements, deBruijn said there are always families they miss and don’t hear from until school begins in September.
Anyone can still register a child for kindergarten by going to their neighbourhood school.
A birth certificate, the child’s care card and proof of residence are required although, if one of the two government documents is unavailable, school secretaries will help families get them so registration can proceed.