The South East Cornerstone Public School Board says its enrolment numbers are up this year.
Dr. Marc Casavant said they won't have the official numbers until later this month, but they believe the increase is between one and one-and-a-half per cent, which would push their total student population to above 8,300.
"It's been consistent with the last couple years," said Casavant. "We've been in that one to one-and-a-half per cent range. If we're more than that, I'd be surprised."
Last year the division had a large enough increase in enrolment numbers that it was able to secure additional funding from the provincial government.
The school division recently concluded a three-year plan, and its board recently authorized a new four-year plan. Casavant said the priorities are in the areas of math, early learning and graduation rates, which, according to Casavant, align nicely with the Ministry of Education and government's goals for 2020.
Curriculum changes for this year include some new English Language Arts courses at the Grade 12 level.
"There's not a lot of change coming with curriculums," said Casavant. "Most of what we have has come in already."
There are also teacher and staff changes at different schools in the Estevan area, and throughout the school division.
Casavant said he is looking forward to getting out into the schools over the next few weeks. He plans to conduct focus groups with students during the first couple weeks of the school year, and he wants to travel to a third of the division's schools each year to make sure that the division's priorities and initiatives are being taught.
"I'd like to have conversations with teachers as they're actually teaching our new math priority," Casavant said.
He also said he looks forward to meeting with the managers of the Chambers of Commerce in Estevan and Weyburn, and representatives from the Southeast Regional College, to discuss how they can work together to transition students from the public school system into the workforce.
Casavant said those meetings will be starting soon.