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Prairie South predicts division to grow by 47 students next year

An extra 47 students are expected to enrol in Prairie South School Division (PSSD) for the 2020-21 school year, according to projections
prairie south office spring 2019
Prairie South School Division board office. (Larissa Kurz photograph)

An extra 47 students are expected to enrol in Prairie South School Division (PSSD) for the 2020-21 school year, according to projections.

Each December the division uses a program called Baragar and local knowledge from school principals to determine enrolment projects for the following school year. The Baragar projection is based on enrolment data from PSSD, information from Canada Post, Canada Revenue Agency, Statistics Canada census data and the provincial bureau of vital statistics.

Information gleaned from the vital statistics includes births, population, migration and participation rates in the school division’s regular programming.

A report about the enrolment projects was presented to PSSD trustees during the recent board of education meeting.

As of Sept, 30, 2019, PSSD had 6,863 students enrolled throughout the division. Projections for the 2020-21 school year indicate that number is supposed to increase to 6,910.

In Moose Jaw, the data projects for student enrolment:
• Central Collegiate to decrease to 519 from 534
• École Palliser Heights to increase to 666 from 649
• Empire Community School to decrease to 110 from 110
• King George Elementary School to increase to 379 from 374
• Lindale Elementary School to decrease to 310 from 321
• A.E. Peacock Collegiate to jump to 590 from 559
• Prince Arthur Community School to decrease to 210 from 219
• Riverview Collegiate to decrease to 94 from 96
• Sunningdale Elementary School to jump to 455 from 429
• Westmount Elementary School to decrease to 315 from 3216
• William Grayson School to increase to 169 from 162

The use of the Baragar computer program concerned trustee Lew Young (Moose Jaw Schools). He thought the division had decided against renewing the contract with the program.

Division administration has talked about how useful the program is every year, said education director Tony Baldwin. Moreover, the Ministry of Education wants Baragar used for the joint-use school project. This actually forced partner Holy Trinity Catholic School Division to acquire the program since it wasn’t using it.

It’s not possible to partition the school division in the program, he continued. Baragar is not needed to project enrolment in the rural areas, but it is needed in Moose Jaw. Therefore, the division will stick with the program and local knowledge as it arrives at enrolment projection.

“And it is a really important number for us because that’s what determines our initial budget funding, so when we miss, sometimes that is painful when we actually get our budgeting,” he added.

The next PSSD board meeting is March 3.