Sloan says this is due to a “bubble” of older kids working their way through the school system. The last couple of years saw large graduating classes, but those were followed by smaller groups.

Middle school Bert Bowes has 57 less students than last year, but that was expected, as the 12-15 year old age group is the smallest in that area.

What wasn’t expected was the 29 extra students at Alwin Holland, 14 more than projected. Sloan says that is likely due to all the new housing developments going up in that area.

Sloan predicts that the numbers will continue in this way next year and then rise the following year as the students currently filling up the elementary schools move up to middle school.

“This is a young, growing and expanding community, so by sheer volume, if the population of Fort St. John increases by 10 per cent, the number of school age children increases correspondingly.”

As for class sizes, all grades are currently under the provincial maximum average, although Kindergarten is getting close, while Primary and Intermediate are comfortably inside.