The Delta School District’s enrollment for 2013/14 has dropped by 185 students

SD37 student numbers drop, again

The number of children enrolled in the Delta School District fell again this September, with 185 fewer bodies from the previous year.

The number of children enrolled in the Delta School District fell again this September, with 185 fewer bodies from the previous year. The biggest losses came in secondary schools, with 221 fewer students across all of Delta. About half of that number was lost in North Delta’s high schools.

Elementary schools, however, saw modest increases of 36 children across the entire district, almost all of them in Ladner. Deputy Supterintendent Garnet Ayres identified that as a positive sign for enrollment trends down the road. What is growing, however, is the number of international students in Delta’s schools. There are 462 international students–415 of them in secondary schools–across the district, representing three per cent of the 15,621 total. Deirdre Annette, director of international programs for the district, told the school board Tuesday evening that the program has exceeded its budget by $1.7 million, with record revenues and enrollment numbers.

There were 173 international students in summer school across the district in 2013, representing $138,400 in revenue, and an increase of nearly half from the previous year. That represents a 246 per cent jump from 2011, and more than ten-fold the number from 2010.

Annette attributed the increase to active recruitment in existing partner countries as well as forays into new markets like Turkey, Vietnam, Thailand, Ukraine, and Poland. She said a group of 15 students from Myanmar is expected to come to Delta in 2014.

The district is working on signing an agreement with Chile and Brazil to bring 100 children here on government scholarship programs for low-income families.

“We’ve been ironing out the kinks over the years of troubles we’ve had in the past,” said Annette, adding students who aren’t the right fit for the program are sent home and reimbursed.

That has left positive word-of-mouth for both the international program and home stay parents, who have helped the district by accepting students into their homes.

However, Trustee Simon Truelove expressed concern about working with governments that have had human rights problems in the past, such as Myanmar.

“I’m starting to get a touch of anxiety because it’s expanding to parts of the world I wasn’t expecting,” he said.

But Annette said it could be helpful to expose children from countries like Myanmar to the positives of Canadian society and democracy, perhaps influencing the next generation.

“Those would be the power brokers and what if they  didn’t come here and they just stayed in their world?”

China represents the largest market of students arriving in Delta, and Annette suggested she may cap numbers from that country in order to maintain a diversity in the program. She said she’s not concerned about limiting the number of international students in Delta just yet, pointing out that other school districts have a far higher ratio of international students. Roughly 800 international students come through the Delta School District each year, representing a revenue of stream of $4.7 million last year.

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: I’m sorry, Surrey, for smelling like cigarettes all those years

If I could go back and tell my 13-year-old self to put down that cigarette, I would, reader says

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Survey suggests 83 per cent of Surreyites ‘favour a referendum’ on policing transition

Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the National Police Federation

Racist graffiti sparks Cloverdale man to renew calls for City to clean up street

Hate message the latest garbage dumped at the end of 176th Street

VIDEO: Behind the scenes of turning newspapers into digital archives

Kelowna Capital News donated materials dating from 1980 to 2000

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

VIDEO: Giants winning streak now stands at 11

Team erased a 5-2 deficit by scoring every five minutes

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Most Read