As the second half of the school year ramps up, district officials in Coquitlam are enjoying a trend that would likely agree with taxpayers' wallets.
For the last several years, the number of incidents of vandalism and broken windows directed at schools in the district has decreased, and this year looks to be following suit.
While the district only compiles actual numbers at the end of the year, assistant director of maintenance operations Ken Niven suggested 2012-13 is shaping up to be on par with previous years.
"We see lulls in vandalism and you can attribute it to quite a few things," he said.
"It could be the weather, could be the kids being out of school for a Pro D-day or long weekend - it could be any number of things."
Both Halloween and Christmas holidays, the two potentially busiest times for school damage, were relatively quiet this year.
Niven said a reduction in property damage is not only good for the bottom line, but allows maintenance staff to focus on other projects around schools like enhancing their curb appeal.
"It is significant for us to reduce vandalism as much as possible," he said.
It's not just School District 43 noticing the drop in vandalism at local schools.
Tim Kelley is the head of Vandal Watch, a joint venture of the district and the City of Port Coquitlam dedicated to stopping vandalism at all school, PoCo parks, community centres and recreation facilities.
Residents living near schools are encouraged to make an anonymous call to the Vandal Watch tip line when they see or hear problems before vandalism occur.
In the 10 years the organization has operated, he noted there is less vandalism now, and offered up a couple of reasons for the decrease.
Though Vandal Watch is part of the story, Kelley said there has been what he called "target hardening" at problem schools and facilities in recent years.
"Things have gotten better. There is no question about it," he said.
Kelley noted the number of calls to Vandal Watch depends on the time of year, adding holidays in warmer months tend to drive up the numbers.
According to School District 43, there were 546 reported incidents of vandalism on district property in the 2011-12 school year, compared to 785 in 2005-06.
The number of smashed windows also dropped to 511 in 2011-12, from a high of 1,352 in 2005-06.
But fewer incidents of vandalism don't always translate into savings for the district.
The average incident of vandalism cost the district $192 in 2011-12, compared to $104 in 2005-06.
A breakdown of the numbers in 2011-12 show the district spent $55,940 on labour, $33,310 on material and $15,775 on contractor costs for repairs, for a total of $105,026.
Back in 2005-06, the district spent $37,005, $14,125, and $31,049 on labour, material and contractor costs, respectively, on vandalism repairs, for a total of $82,179.
However, the most expensive year came back in 200708, when the district spent $137,840 to deal with vandalism.
School District 43 has managed to save money over the years in the replacement of broken windows.
In 2011-12, the district spent $72,014 on replacing windows, compared to $112,874 in 2005-06. But the average cost for each window rose to $140 in 2011-12, from $83 back in 2005-06.