School district enrollment dropping

  • Feb. 25, 2011 4:00 p.m.

by Alex Rinfret–The Haida Gwaii school district has lost 18 students since September, secretary-treasurer Ken Campbell told trustees at last week’s school board meeting Feb. 22 in Queen Charlotte. There are usually fewer students at mid-year than there were at the beginning, but 18 is a lot to lose in a district as small as this one, he said. As of mid-February, there were just over 644 students in the district, down from 662 on Sept. 30 (some students are counted in fractions; these numbers are rounded off). The number of adult students increased slightly, from 10 to 13, but the number of regular students fell to 631 from 652. The biggest losses were at the islands two high schools. Queen Charlotte Secondary has lost 13 regular students since September, and G.M. Dawson Secondary is down by seven. Tahayghen elementary lost four students and Port Clements lost one, while Sk’aadgaa Naay gained two and A.L. Mathers gained two. The changes leave Sk’aadgaa Naay still the largest school in the district by far, with 194 students. Queen Charlotte Secondary has 140 students and G.M. Dawson Secondary has 102 (both schools include adult students). Tahayghen elementary has 101 students, A.L. Mathers has almost 61 (including adults) and Port Clements has 46. Mr. Campbell also provided trustees with a breakdown of the enrollment at A.L. Mathers school. The Sandspit school has only 29 regular students in kindergarten to grade 9, but its enrollment is boosted by nine adult students taking high school courses and 22 students attending the district’s “e-school” program. These students do not necessarily live in Sandspit but do their school work over the internet in a program administered by A.L. Mathers.