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School's in! Here we grow again

Construction of extra classroom space at Surrey’s T.E. Scott Elementary won’t be ready until later this fall. - Evan Seal / The Leader
Construction of extra classroom space at Surrey’s T.E. Scott Elementary won’t be ready until later this fall.
— image credit: Evan Seal / The Leader

The number of students in Surrey has inched up this year, and even though new classrooms will be available, it’s also expected more portables will be needed.

In all, there will be about 70,207 students filing into Surrey schools next week, up from 69,745 students at this time last year.

That growth is almost all in elementary schools.

The number of secondary students this year has dropped by 169, while the number in kindergarten to Grade 7 is ballooning by 629.

To help accommodate that population, an expansion of Newton’s T.E. Scott Elementary will be opening later this fall, providing eight new classrooms.

A new Hazelgrove Annex re-opened last year with four classrooms and will have eight available this year. All of those classroom spaces will be for kindergarten students. Roughly half of the new school additions from last year will be used for kindergarten as the province moved to an all-day kindergarten program last fall.

For secondary students, some schools, including Sullivan Heights and North Surrey Secondary are moving to a flex schedule.

The flex schedule increases a school’s capacity by about 10 per cent by adding an extra block of time. It was deemed in a recent report to be the most preferable of three options to accommodate Surrey’s growing number of students.

Lord Tweedsmuir and Earl Marriott adopted a flexible schedule last fall to help combat overcrowding issues at those high schools.

The district will also be forced to use a few more portables this year than last, bringing the total student-occupied portables to 260 to 265 (others are used for storage or administrative purposes).

In Delta, the projected enrolment continues to drop, just as it for the past several years. About 15,440 students are expected, down slightly from 15,560 students last year. The district isn’t expecting any school closures as a result of the drop in enrolment.

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