Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe continue to buck the trend of declining school enrolment in the province with portables expected to be installed this fall at Riverview East, a kindergarten to Grade 8 school that opened just three years ago.
The school is already overcrowded with enrolment closing in on the 650 students it was designed to accommodate, says Gregg Ingersoll, the superintendent of the Anglophone East School District.
“Even if the school is built for 650, depending on how the classes line up and how many kids are in each class, you can actually reach the capacity of the school before we hit that number,” he told Information Morning Moncton.
Not roomy from the start
Ingersoll said enrolment continues to increase at the school, which has been tight for space since it opened in 2014.
“Now with the addition of the Grade 1 French immersion next year at the school it’s pushing us into spaces in the school that weren’t designed for homerooms … and we have one more year of early French immersion coming next year,” he said.
“And we’re definitely going to be at a point where we’re going to need some more space.”
Ingersoll said 650 is considered an “optimal size” for a K to 8 school, but it is time now to bring in portable classrooms.
Portables take playground space
Riverview East is using windowless music rooms and labs as homeroom classrooms, and Ingersoll said there is simply nowhere to put another class unless portables are added in time for the new school year in September.
‘The growth in those areas … it’s really bucking the trend in New Brunswick. Most places the enrolment is declining but in those areas it’s growing at such a rate that you almost can’t keep up with it.’
– Gregg Ingersoll, Anglophone East superintendent
“Those classes were not designed to be homeroom classes,” he said.
“We were in a very similar situation in Northrop Frye and we’re still in that situation actually in the north end where schools…