Making the Numbers Count

For many students and teachers across Canada, the First Day of School 2020 is now a distant memory. What was initially regarded as unknown territory involving staggered starts, learning cohorts, and physical distancing, has now been quickly adapted by staff, students, and parents. Moreover, with school resources tight and enrolment split between online and in-class learning, reporting accurately to the Ministry of Education on student enrolment has become both a significant and stressful time for schools and districts.

Count Day

Typically falling at the end of September, Count Day is a reporting event where schools and boards report their student enrolment numbers, as required by the Ministry. Based on these numbers, and the unique needs of the students from each board, the Ministry will allocate funding. From there, provinces, school districts, and schools then decide where the money is directed. During a time when school budgets are stretched, and funding being a critical key to schools operating effectively, this report—and the accuracy of it—is crucial.

How Funding Works

Once the count days are completed, public funding for education will come either directly from the provincial or territorial government or through a mix of provincial transfers and local taxes collected by the local government. Provincial and territorial regulations, revised yearly, provide the grant structure that sets the level of funding for each school district, based on location, size, need, etc.

These numbers then help determine how many teachers, educational assistants, librarians, vice-principals, and principals are needed for individual schools and the funding that will be provided for books and classroom supplies. Further, count reporting also includes information on student movement between schools and monitors enrolment trends in programs.

With over 5.6 million students in Canada enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in 2019, (Statistics Canada), and the majority of them attending public schools—and with the numbers increasing each year—signifies that not only is funding tight now but will continue to be so for many years to come.

Challenges

With count day looming on schools and boards each year, there are many challenges that can arise:

  • Registering and the re-registration process being paper based
  • Storing and filing of supporting documentation i.e. birth certificate, health records, etc.
  • Tracking legal names vs. usual names
  • Monitoring special education plans
  • Analyzing and tracking demographics
  • Organizing and storing of Permanent Student Records

How Edsembli Helps

Edsembli boasts jurisdictional compliance across six of the Canadian provinces, this includes Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nunavut, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, which means schools and districts can easily rely on our pre-formatted reports to pull student enrolment data quickly and accurately to be directly sent to the Ministry of Education.

Other features include:

  • Reducing manual entry of student information through online registration
  • Making audits easy with digital file storage of supporting documents like birth certificates and health records
  • Collecting and analyzing information with our Productivity Dashboard and Student Record Management system
  • Creating individual/Special Education Plans Management procedures
  • Digital storage of Permanent Student Record and supporting documents

Funding is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to running a school effectively. Ensuring your students have exactly what they require to learn and creating a semblance of normalcy right now is more important than ever before. So how can we help? Speak with one of Edsembli’s education specialists today about how our system can take the scramble and worry out of Count Day and ensure reporting to the Ministry is accurate and compliant.

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