Trends and Issues: Shifting Demographics

In early 2017, Statistics Canada shared a “first glimpse” of the latest national statistical portrait with results of the 2016 Census count on population and dwellings.

Current, detailed enrolment information for Parkland School Division can be found on our Reports page.

The City of Spruce Grove is one of the fastest growing communities in the province, followed closely by the Town of Stony Plain. The number of children between the ages of 0-4 years of age continues to increase and, as a result, the Division is experiencing significantly increased enrolment in its Early Years and K-9 schools in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain.

Total enrolment as of September 2018 reached 10,968, indicating a Divisional student population growth of 1.83%.

The Board also recognizes changes in the diversity of our student population. Our students are from diverse cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and family structures. In addition, Parkland School Division is experiencing a significant growth in the number of students with severe special needs. The number of children with diverse needs and requiring extensive programming supports and services challenges the Division to provide appropriate and adequate support within our current financial reality.

The Division believes that the addition of new schools and the modernization and preservation of existing facilities is necessary to meet the expected pressures that continue in those areas that are growing. To this end, the Division is appreciative for the recent construction of our new Copperhaven School in Spruce Grove. Improving and increasing our learning facilities provides much needed classroom spaces to accommodate rapidly growing school populations in the Division’s urban schools.

Conversely, there are alternative challenges with declining populations in the westernmost areas of the Division and this decline will have an impact on planning considerations in the very near future.