Schools are participating in the Terry Fox Run Friday, Sept. 30. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Schools are participating in the Terry Fox Run Friday, Sept. 30. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

School enrolment one for the books in Vernon

Number of students continuing to grow, over capacity at VSS

Vernon schools are brimming with students.

“Enrolment is up across the district,” Superintendent Christine Perkins said.

While final numbers for the 2022-2023 school year aren’t finalized yet, Vernon Secondary School is reportedly 120 students over capacity.

It’s a trend that was seen last school year (2021-2022) as School District 22 enrolment increased by 185 students, or two per cent, to 8,672 pupils.

The Board of Education released financial statements for last year, which show the district’s revenue grew by four per cent year on year, with total revenue of $114.9 million compared with $110.6 million in the 2020-2021 school year.

Additional revenue was used to offset inflationary increases and employ additional staff to support the growing student population.

The district employed about 542 full-time-equivalent teachers, an increase of two per cent from 2020-2021, in line with the increase in the number of students.

“Early indications are that this growth trend will be sustained in the 2022-2023 school year,” said secretary-treasurer Adrian Johnson.

A report presented to the board of education showed that over the past five years enrolment has increased by 3.4 per cent, while the number of teachers has increased by 10.6 per cent.

The district continues to experience much higher than usual sick leave. The cost of replacing absent staff exceeded the budget by about $700,000 last year.

Financial statements show the district ended the 2021-2022 school year with a contingency reserve of $1.2 million. The board also set aside $1.4 million of operating reserves to balance the 2022- 2023 budget.

Along with more students and staff at schools, there will be a new face in the classrooms.

Photos of Queen Elizabeth II grace the walls of schools, but as per protocol, over time photos of King Charles will be made available.

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Schools are participating in the Terry Fox Run Friday, Sept. 30. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

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