Enrolment Projections and Accommodation Review data inform planning and decision-making across our organization. These reports show information such as historic enrolment trends in Stratford, projected enrolments for the Stratford area, school capacities, and utilization of space in schools.
15 Year Enrolment Projections
Enrolment projections inform planning and decision making activities in all departments. They form the basis of the annual preliminary accommodation report to the Board and various Ministry reporting requirements.
New projections are produced in years when new census data is published. Otherwise, generally, updates to the projections are performed every 2 to 3 years, between census years, and may be based on significant accommodation adjustments and changes. The most recent census occurred in 2016.
Total elementary projected enrolments decline slightly over the next 5 to 6 years. Beyond the 6-year period, district elementary projections indicate a slight increase but do not recover to current levels until 10 years out. Total elementary enrolment between 2015/16 and the projected 2025/26 year shows a resulting increase of 5 students. Reviewing individual planning areas reveals similar trends; however, South Huron indicates a slight decline beyond the 10-year period.
Total secondary enrolment continues to decline with a moderate increase during the last three years of the projection. Total secondary enrolment between 2015/16 and 2020/21 declines by 387 students. Looking out to 2025/26 a cumulative decline of 550 students is projected. Reviewing the secondary planning areas individually, similar trends are derived in the long term with some variation between planning areas in the short term. The most significant decline is noted for the Central Huron planning area. Significant decline is also noted for the Stratford Northwestern SS planning area.
Preliminary Accommodation Analysis Report for 2017/2018
Declining enrolments remain the Board’s biggest financial challenge. As enrolment declines, so does revenue. As a result, the Board must continue seeking efficiencies in its operations to free up financial resources which facilitate the achievement of Board goals.
The Ministry of Education’s priority focus on “right sizing’’ of schools, and related grant changes is pushing boards in the direction of consolidation. Changes in school accommodation must remain an option in the Board’s plan to ensure that it is fiscally responsible and accountable and provide the best possible programs for its students.
Staff continues to explore partnerships and alternate use of empty space in an effort to sustain the viability of vulnerable schools. In rural areas, municipalities are likely the best, if not only, partnership opportunity. Board staff will continue to explore these possibilities through our annual municipal partnership meetings that provide opportunities for exploration, as well as discussions that have occurred regarding shared library space.
Staff will continue to explore innovative approaches to program delivery at secondary schools to sustain the quality of the secondary school experience for students as enrolment declines.
Staff did not recommend any schools for further review at this time. Please read the report below.