At Monday's monthly Chinook School Division Board meeting, the board was presented the Hutterian Status Report.
This year 483 students in 32 colonies attended Hutterian schools in the division. A decrease of 69 students over five years and a drop of 176 students over the last 12 years.
Mark Benesh, the Superintended of Schools with the Chinook School Division, said that the decrease is something that could affect funding in the future.
"Hutterian schools have been dropping enrollment over the last 15 years that we've tracked," he said. "Around the school division about 15 kids per year, so the impact really is a little bit on funding because the schools are getting smaller and also the size of the building and the implication of having less kids in each building, so there are some side effects on that."
Benesh said that despite a decrease possibly affecting funding in the future he believes it's not an issue they are going to run into any time soon.
Something new that was introduced was a new prep time model which has saved money without hurting the education of the students.
"What we used to have, just to provide prep time in colonies and in every other school we actually hired teachers to drive to each colony and be there for a morning or an afternoon and go to the next one and provide time," he said. "It was very expensive to do that, the number of teachers you need, the cost and travelling. So what we've done instead is we've given some specific sub-days that they can just not be at school, well be at school but they are prepping instead, is what we are paying the sub-for. So it's a little cheaper because they are not having to do that in that way and we also have early dismissal. So once a week one of the school days in just shorter and they are able to prep, so that saves us a fair amount of dollars, and so that is a huge cost saving rather than having that many more teachers travelling to and from the colonies."
He says that they will have the same goals they've always had going forward.
"We think we serve the brethren very well with our teachers and they do a great job in those circumstances," he said. "I guess our goal would be to continue to ensure our good relationship and good instruction so that those kids can be as successful in their walk of life as our other schools and kids in the public schools because they become the leads of there colonies, so their skill set is very important. Managing a multi-million dollar corporation is really what the colony is, and so they need some outstanding math, literacy, leadership skills which we would be developing there as we would in an elementary or high school."
He added that something that they are proud of and something that he hopes to continue is a good relationship with the brethren.
Other positives from this year have been that learning coaches are having a positive impact with Math and Literacy, and a decrease in Hutterain Absenteeism.