By Justin Seward
Prairie Rose School Division’s boards of trustees were updated on the 2020-2021 enrolment numbers from treasurer Ryan Boser on Oct. 6.
PRSD did anticipate an increase of 66 students prior to the pandemic with the growth of the CSSHL’s (Canadian School Sport Hockey League)U18 prep male and female players attending Eagle Butte High School as well as the Willie Desjardins HockeyAcademy and the flight academy.
However, PRSD’s Sept. 30 count revealed a lower number of enrolments.
“We expected as a division to grow this year and ultimately with COVID, being an uncertain year this year, we ended up seeing a decline in enrolment of 81 students underneath that projection of 66 ,” said Boser.
“When you compare year to year, we’re only down approximately 15 students. But ultimately with some of the students that are no longer part of Prairie Rose, they might have moved into more of a traditional home schooling program, where the parents are taking on the instruction side of things and really the school division they’re signed up with, their responsibilities are just to check in on those kids’ program.”
Boser noted that 14.2 of those students are enrolled in PRSD’s new homeschooling program.
Additionally, parents are having their kids join different online programming that are available in Alberta.
There are a total of 3,088.5 students enrolled in Prairie Rose schools and 107 students in learning-from-home option.
“We also understand and support parents’ concerns around wanting to keep their kids at home and that’s ultimately why we still decided to have a program in place to support those kids,” said Boser.
PRSD hope is that those kids return to school when COVID disappears at some point and the online program is around only for this year.