There are more than 300 new students who enrolled in the Sooke School District this year, according to preliminary numbers.
SD62 superintendent Jim Cambridge said there are roughly 10,400 students enrolled in the district, including 340 new students, although final numbers are not expected to be released until next week.
“We’re really pleased that our projections are accurate. Last year it was great to have a lot of extra kids, but it’s better to know how many kids are coming,” Cambridge said.
Last year the district saw an increase of 520 students, which was an “abnormal year,” Cambridge noted. This year’s numbers are more on track with the district’s long range facilities plans, which estimates a three per cent growth rate per year, which translates to roughly 300 new students annually.
Cambridge said the increase in enrolment can be attributed to the boom in residential development and access to amenities that is attracting more families to the West Shore.
“One of the things we noticed is families attract other families into communities,” he said.
To address increased enrolment, the district is working on its capital plan and acquiring land to build new schools, including a middle and elementary school in the Langford/Colwood area and an elementary school in south Langford or in the Royal Bay area, as well as continuing its push for the expansion of Royal Bay Secondary.