Enrolment trends up at UCDSB

·2 min read

BROCKVILLE – The dip in student enrolment at the Upper Canada District School board due to the COVID-19 pandemic has not only recovered but begun a positive upward trend.

Trustees were updated on estimated elementary and secondary enrolment at the October 13 trustee board meeting.

School boards take two official headcounts each school year, one on October 31, the other March 31. Between October 2019 and October 2020, the UCDSB had a net loss of 278 students. Those losses were entirely from the elementary division which lost 325 students, while the secondary division gained 47 students.

A preliminary count on September 8, 2021 showed that the board recovered from pandemic related losses the previous year and added 596 elementary and 251 secondary students. This amounts to a 2.1 per cent increase from pre-pandemic enrolment, and a 3.3 per cent year-over-year recovery.

Board officials attributed the increases to population growth in the Russell, Rockland, and Rideau areas of the UCDSB, and migration from other school boards within the same catchment area. More than one-quarter of the new elementary students and nearly one-third of new secondary students to the board moved from the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario.

Schools in the North Dundas, South Dundas, and Brockville areas all had negative growth in enrolment. South Dundas saw a three per cent combined drop in students from the previous to current school years, Brockville had the highest decrease at four per cent.

Superintendent of Schools Bill Loshaw noted that eight per cent of the new students to the board came from the two French-language boards in the region.

As international exchange students were allowed to enter Canada this year due to loosening pandemic travel restrictions, 186 of the new secondary school students are exchange students.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader

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