Langley schools enrolment exceeds expectations

Greatest spike in student numbers found in Willoughby and Walnut Grove

While Vancouver School Board grapples with closing up to 11 schools because of low enrolment, Langley is facing the opposite problem.

At the first Langley Board of Education meeting of the school year on Tuesday evening, secretary-treasurer David Green reported that enrolment is up again this year.

Administration projected 19,572 students would enter Langley schools  in 2016/17, but so far 19,845 have registered.

That means 273 more students than anticipated enrolled in Langley schools this fall, mainly in the Willoughby and Walnut Grove areas. Walnut Grove saw the biggest leap in student enrolment.

“At Walnut Grove Secondary it was up (by) 50 more students than we projected,” said Green.

They don’t know the exact reason for the population boom, but surmise that older people sold their homes and young families moved in over the summer.

The school district will spend $1 million on portables this school year to accommodate the growth, said Green.

R.E. Mountain Secondary has 16 portables already.

While not included in the full time enrolment numbers, international student figures are up as well.

Seven hundred students, 50 more than last year, are studying here from abroad.

The increase in enrolment means more funding dollars from the Ministry of Education.