Sooke School District reports record growth this year
A Sooke School District bus and students are pictured. (CTV News)
The Sooke School District (SD 62) has once again seen a record amount of growth in student enrollment this year.
In a news release Monday, the school district said that current September enrolment increased by 310 students from last year, bringing the total number of students from Kindergarten to grade 12 to 11,142.
"That’s a growth rate of three per cent - or the equivalent of one elementary school’s worth of students," said SD 62.
The Sooke School District includes schools in a range of south island communities, including Langford, Sooke and Port Renfrew.
According to SD 62, long-range enrolment forecasts estimate a growth rate of nearly 27 per cent for the school district over the next nine years. The school board says that it is doing everything it can to keep up with expected demand.
"Our district staff do an excellent job in predicting the growth, managing it in the short-term through such things as portables and interior space renovations, and planning long-term for new property acquisitions and new school builds," said district superintendent Scott Stinson in a statement.
Currently, planning has begun on two new schools in west Langford, one an elementary school and one middle a school. SD 62 recently launched an online survey to help name the two schools, which are expected to open by September 2022.
“It usually takes five to seven years for the design and construction of new schools but thanks to an expedited process, with cooperation from local municipalities, the province and district staff, our board of education will be able to open our two newest schools in just about two and a half years,” said board chair, Ravi Parmar.
Meanwhile, in the long term, the Sooke School District plans to open four new elementary schools and one new high school in the school district.