OES adds a class
as it prepares to open Sept. 3

In the immortal words of Sesame Street’s digit-revering vampire, Osoyoos Elementary School “vants to count to three” when it opens to students next week.

As in three kindergarten classes — and likely three Grade Three classes as well (although one might be a Grade Three-Four split.

“As of today, we have 56 kindergarten students,” said OES principal Dave Foster late last week. “That’s up by 20; last year we had 36 kindergarten students.”

And the early Grade Three count is also showing 56 students.

The result for the school — which expects to start the year with 365 students — is one more division (or class) and another teacher hired.

Many of the new kindergarten cohort have older siblings in the school, but Mr. Foster also points to a scribbled note on his bulletin board that suggests another dozen summer registrations — that is, students moving into the community with their families.

Staff are back in the school building preparing for students returning Sept. 3. One of the chores is determining how to fit the 365 students into 17 divisions.

“Every year we reconfigure,” explained Mr. Foster. “Some (of the classes) are split classes. We take all of our students — 365 — and we split them up based on how many are in each grade.”

Compounding the kindergarten and primary-grade increases is a large contingent of Grade 7 students.

“We actually have more Grade 7s coming in this year than we sent to high school,” said Mr. Foster.

Students go back to school Sept. 3 — the Tuesday after Labour Day — but will only be in classes until noon.

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