General Questions – Process and Background
Why is the District considering changes to catchment boundaries?
The District’s student population has grown significantly recently and class size and composition language in our collective agreement has impacted the availability of space in schools. Further, we are projected to have continued growth. Some schools are already full or nearing capacity. In some circumstances, portables or learning studios have been added to provide additional capacity.
The District needs to consider revising catchment boundaries to alleviate capacity constraints in some of its schools and balance enrolment across the entire District to prepare for future enrolment pressures. As well, the District needs to ensure that schools have access to the same amenities to offer students an equitable learning experience.
At schools such as George Jay, Oaklands, Quadra, Central and Lansdowne, further growth can only be accommodated by an expansion or with additional portables, if the school site permits. In the case of middle schools, an increase in student enrolment could mean the loss of spaces that provide educational opportunities. In some scenarios, some schools have had to temporarily lose purpose-built spaces contrary to the District’s commitment to equity. Students have had to use gyms or libraries in the interim to accommodate growth in student enrolment until learning studios could be built.
Why is the District not recommending adding portables or school expansions?
The recommendations found in the Boundary Review purposefully limit the addition of portables or expansions. In addition to significant financial costs, the schools facing the greatest capacity issues (Quadra, George Jay, Central, Lansdowne and Oaklands) already have significant school populations with portables on site. Further, portables do not add additional space for gyms, libraries, and necessary inclusive learning spaces.
With respect to building expansions, even the most basic expansion for 150 students would cost $3 to $5 million. Currently, the District does not have access to this level of funding unless we sold or leased land. Further, the schools that have capacity restraints are already larger than considered ideal.
What other options were considered?
We looked at the possibility of opening S.J. Willis as a middle school. This would have allowed Richmond to open as an elementary school. This concept was not recommended as S.J. Willis is required if the District is to proceed with seismic upgrades of Vic High, Reynolds, Lambrick and others. We anticipate our seismic program has more than a decade remaining. Losing S.J. Willis as a swing space would mean the District would require schools like Vic High to have dozens of portables that would have a significant impact on student learning.
We looked at using Uplands as a school. The demographics around the school, however, do not support the opening of a school given the limited population that lives in the area compared to the areas of density of schools like Oaklands.
As noted above, we did not seriously consider a major expansion of portables at George Jay or Oaklands due to the issue of equitable access to school amenities, the existence of District assets in similar regions and the costs. Further, in the case of Quadra there is simply not sufficient space on the land to realistically add additional portables.
We looked at Sundance but the capacity of the school of 109 (including its current portable but not including a library) is therefore too small to have a major impact on the capacity issues at Oaklands, aside from the fact it is currently a public school for French speaking students. There would be no contractual impediment to using this school in 2020. Further, the Bank Street school adjacent to Bank Street would require a significant upgrade to house elementary school students. Further, we did not consider adding additional learning studios to the site to add capacity.
The District considered balancing student populations by re-drawing more catchment areas. This approach, however, would likely have impacted most schools in the District and would have increased travel distances for many families.
What if our projections are incorrect, for instance, what if George Jay doesn’t grow?
The recommendations draw the boundaries to allow for future growth in neighbourhoods as well to alleviate some of the stresses of currently full schools. With respect to decline, we know that housing affordability is becoming an issue and we intend to work with our local municipalities to ensure that we are planning ahead of potential declining enrollment. For instance, our projections show minor declines at Margaret Jenkins as well as the north part of the District.
What if our projections are incorrect, for instance, what if Esquimalt continues to grow?
The District continues to have assets available in the event that our projections are conservative. For instance, if affordability in the Esquimalt area increases the number of families we have Lampson available. Further, Rockheights has significant current capacity available. The Boundary review could not grow the schools through a review of the boundaries in a manner that would be reasonable given the geographic limitations of the site.
The District states that some schools already over-capacity. How can the operate in an over-capacity state?
There are a number of ways in which schools operate over-capacity, including, but not limited to:
- utilizing space intended to supplement instructional experiences (multipurpose rooms, other Ministry supported amenity spaces), prep rooms, etc.;
- reducing inclusive education spaces;
- year-to-year fluctuations on school organization may permit a larger than usual number of straight grade classes; a larger number of intermediate students than primary students, etc.;
- Utilizing spaces that are smaller than Ministry calculations for a classroom (e.g. less than 80 sq metres) that are not recognized in official capacities;
- Creating smaller and flexible prep spaces (e.g. outdoor learning, renovating spaces not typically used for prep such as gym stages).
- Secondary schools have more flexibility of timetabling to operate over capacity
Can schools operate in an over-capacity state into the future?
To a certain extent. For instance, this would be limited by the Boards desire to create equitable access to instructional opportunities. Further, fluctuations in the distribution of students across grades make this difficult to predict. Further, we have contractual requirements to make our best efforts to meet class size and composition limits in the collective agreement. One of the obligations includes a boundary review.
Can the District bus students to ensure continuity of schools of choice?
The District could consider such an option but has not envisioned this as part of the recommendations given existing infrastructure. It could use this option but that would involve asking families to leave their neighbourhoods to access their school.
Why is the District not considering cancelling or altering French Immersion as part of the review?
The District recently went through a review of French Immersion and it was determined that the programming would remain in its current format. Given this, there was no consideration of major shifts in French Immersion. Further, while French Immersion impacts capacities at a number of schools, they continue to serve mainly students from near the school.
We did consider the expansion of French Immersion in the west side of the District but there was no school with sufficient capacity to support a dual track program. This is an issue the DIstrict will continue to monitor.
Why are some catchments not being changed, e.g., Willows?
One of our guiding principles was to try to limit the overall amount of change as part of the process. Further, given Willows is currently over capacity we are hoping to shrink the school to its ideal capacity. This will be accomplished by restricting out of catchment transfer and the demographics indicate that the catchment population is going be limited.
Why are some catchments not being changed such as Macaulay and Tillicum who are close to capacity and may have composition issues?
Our projections indicate that both Macaulay and Tillicum are able to support their projected populations moving into the future. We have heard the issue of Macaulay and are examining the issue. We did not recommend opening Lampson given the ability of Macaulay and Vic West are not projected to be over capacity and the operating costs and lost revenue from School District No. 93 and the impact on their public education program would be significant. The Board would need to consider cuts to education programming to support this move.
Does the District need to follow School Closure Regulation or Policy, if they are choosing to create catchments for current schools of choice?
While the District is engaging in a significant level of consultation with respect to the boundary review we are not “closing a school” in a manner envisioned in the Policy that is aligned with the Ministerial Order. Creating a catchment is not changing the curriculum offered in the school, the grade levels being offered or requiring any child to leave a program.
What is the long term goal of the Catchment Boundary Review?
To alleviate capacity constraints where it exists and to better balance enrolment across the District to ensure all students receive an equitable education.
What is the impact if boundaries are not redrawn?
Ultimately, if boundaries are not redrawn the District may be in the position of refusing access to catchment students to their home schools or further loss of amenities within a school.
General Questions – Information and Projections
What elementary and middle schools within District 61 are not close to capacity? How many more students can they currently accommodate and are they expected to reach capacity over the next few years?
We have posted school capacities and enrollments at the following link: www.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2019/01/All-School-Level-Projections.pdf
Does the Greater Victoria School District 61 have an approximate figure of how much they anticipate enrolment to increase over the next 10 years?
See the projected enrollment attached at hwww.sd61.bc.ca/news-events/community/catchment-boundary-review/
Note that the further out in time projections go the less reliable they are. Further, the impact of the Board’s recent change to registration priority is partially reflected in the projections.
The Board’s new enrollment priorities, however, will have significant impacts on our planning. For instance, by requiring individuals who move out of their pathway and apply for transfer to continue in their pathway will allow the District to address capacity issues at both middle and secondary schools in a significant way. Spectrum, Glanford, Colquitz are excellent examples of where limiting transfer will address capacity issues.
Regarding the “Enrolment by Catchment/Out of Catchment” document, what school year were these compiled from?
The document is based on the school populations as of September 30, 2018 (the 2018-19 school year).
Regarding the “Projected Enrolments” document, are these projections based on current catchment boundaries or the proposed changes in the catchment boundaries?
The projections are based on current catchments.
What is the area, “Victoria’s Central Corridor?”
A term used to describe the schools located from the Downtown area towards Uptown (e.g. James Bay, South Park, George Jay, Oaklands, Quadra, Cloverdale, Central, Lansdowne)
Are the breakdowns of the respondents for the Fall 2018 Catchment Boundary Survey results available to the public?
Yes. For the full survey results please visit: www.sd61.bc.ca/news-events/community/catchment-boundary-review/
Will there be more offering of programs of choice at schools that are under-enrolled to shift from the schools at maximum capacity?
With the exception of French Immersion programming, the impetus to offer programs of choice is initiated at the school level, not the District level.
Do the enrolment projections on the SD61 website factor in class size and composition limits?
The enrolment projections do not. The boundaries as recommended, however, do take into account schools that have limitations on how many students they can serve based on class composition. Quadra and George Jay are two examples that have reasonably large “official capacities” whose proposed catchments are smaller than these capacities due to this issue. Given numbers change on a year to year basis, based on the composition of the school the capacity could shift year to year. The District does not, however, intend to adjust the number unless significant shifts occur.
The enrolment projections on the SD61 website show projections based on current catchment boundaries. What is the definition of “Official Capacity” used in this document, nominal or operational?
Please note that we have updated this response to add further clarity. “Official Capacity” is a capacity ultimately determined by the District. Generally, we have relied on the Ministry of Education calculations based on the number of classrooms and the ministry value of allowed students at each grade and allowable amenity space. We then added school use portables to the capacity (22 students per elementary and 25 per middle school). Exclusive use childcare portables were not added in the calculations.
Further, the actual capacity of a number of schools with large numbers of students with a Ministry designation will be lower than the listed official capacity given that class sizes are typically smaller and thus fewer children can fit into a school because of collective agreement restriction. Finally, our middle school model does not fit well into Ministry calculations who use a combination of elementary ( grades 6 and 7) and secondary (grade 8) calculations to determine capacity. This calculation assumes that all grade 8 classes are in use all of time in a rotation. This is simply not the case in our middle schools. For instance, at Central the Ministry capacity is 600. If you add two Learning Studios the Official Capacity should be 650 but we know because of the individual circumstances of our District and the physical plant of the school that this is not realistic and the capacity has been adjusted to 610.
To see how capacities are determined prior to the addition of portables/Learning studios and internal adjustment for middle schools and potential collective agreement restrictions, see the attached Operating Capacity Calculations document.
To see which portables on a site are considered as part of a schools’ capacity and which are for childcare, see the attached Capacity with Portables document.
Can the District use portables currently used as childcare to serve K-12 education?
Yes and no. Where the Ministry of Children and Families has funded the units the District is required to guarantee the use as childcare for a certain period of time (10 years – 15 years). The newly announced DIstrict built Learning Studio will be a 15-year commitment.
In addition, a number of our providers have five-year terms. Where these restrictions do not apply, however, the agreement with the teachers’ union requires that we take space back from childcare providers at a school if it means we are meeting our “Best Efforts” to meet class size and composition restrictions in our collective agreement.
What is the methodology used by the District’s third-party company who prepares school population projections?
We have posted this information on our boundary review page under additional resources: www.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2019/02/Data-sources-and-methodology-used-for-enrolment-projections.pdf
To be clear, the numbers utilized by Baragar are based on student addresses currently in our system.
With respect to the school of choice, how does creating catchments help the District given that many of the students in the schools of choice are coming from schools at or near capacity?
Currently, many students at South Park and Cloverdale come from catchments of schools at or near capacity such as James Bay, George Jay. In fact, without this movement these schools would be over-capacity and in the case of James Bay and Quadra, we wouldn’t be able to house all of the students if they were to return.
Ultimately, this use of transfer is now not sufficient for a number of reasons:
- Given South Park and Cloverdale are District catchments there are students from other schools that are taking spots that we would need to serve adjacent schools;
- Populations continue to climb and we cannot rely on a sufficient number of students from catchment schools trying to access schools of choice to make this a meaningful tool for planning;
- The recommended catchments shrink the populations of George Jay and Quadra significantly and balances James Bay. This shrinking of the population at those schools is the only way to create an equitable situation at those schools. Further, populations are set to continue to rise so without a shrinking of the catchments at a number of schools, there is simply no way transfer will be sufficient by 2020. In fact, without portables at Quadra and Oaklands, we could not have housed students in 2017 (due to class size and composition and 2018 due to enrollment growth). George Jay received five new classes in 2018 and will have two more in 2019. At Oaklands in 2019, we are oversubscribed and are currently looking at removing further amenity space in the school for classrooms.
Why does the sum total of the students given for the proposed catchments reported on page 31 of the Catchment Boundary Review Summary Report not match the number in 2018 school enrolment?
The table was not intended to predict future enrolment for the proposed catchments, but rather to:
i) show the number of elementary students whose current programming could be accommodated within the redrawn boundaries
ii) illustrate the potential for balancing numbers across catchments
The discrepancy in sum totals is primarily attributable to:
i) not reporting in the table the 850 students who transfer out of their regular (English) catchment to attend French Immersion, many of whom would be within their pathway, but also including a significant number who use the transfer process to attend a school outside of their pathway.
ii) not including the 263 elementary students from out-of-district who were attending SD61 schools at the beginning of the year.
As there will be several options for those who attend French Immersion outside of their English catchment (e.g. remain in French Immersion within pathway; apply to French Immersion outside of pathway; attend the English program where boundaries are redrawn) the outcome for these students will be dependent on family choice and area demographics. Similarly, family decision-making and choice will be a factor for out-of-district students. For example, the District will continue to accommodate out-of-district students at schools where there are no capacity pressures, but may have to restrict access for out-of-district students to schools where capacity challenges exist, in accordance with our registration and enrollment priorities.
Now that the Board has approved a further phase of consultation on the proposed recommendations, we will engage our third-party provider, Baragar, to provide projections for the proposed catchments.
How many K-5 students within the proposed boundary for South Park are currently attending SD61 schools?
There are 33, K-5 students in the sector where the proposed boundary for South Park overlaps with George Jay. Five of these students attend South Park.
There are 84, K-5 students in the sector where the proposed boundary for South Park overlaps with James Bay. Twenty-five of these students attend South Park.
There are 18, K-5 students in the sector where the proposed boundary for South Park overlaps with Sir James Douglas. Three of these students currently attend South Park.
The sum of the three sectors for the proposed boundary for South Park is 135, with 33 of these students currently attending South Park.
There is a total of 62 students attending James Bay who live closer to South Park than to James Bay. Thirty-six of these students currently reside in the proposed South Park catchment.
General Questions – Impact and Transition
My child currently bikes and walks to school and I am worried about the distance between my catchment area and their proposed catchment school, what is going to be done to ensure that my child is safe on their longer-than-expected commute to school?
All travel distance will remain within the current guidelines in effect. We are also committed to working with our municipalities and BC Transit to address travel options following the completion of the review.
My child currently attends our catchment school, Margaret Jenkins, and is registered to begin at Central Middle School in September. If the proposed changes go through and she continues at Central (does not transfer in 2020 to her new pathway middle school, Lansdowne), will she still continue onto Oak Bay High after middle school or will all the Central Middle School students go to Victoria High?
Students are required to enroll in their catchment high school and can transfer if there is space.
Will my child have the option to transfer to Lansdowne for this September in order to stay with her friends?
Student transfer requests will be accepted. Transfers will continue to be contingent on space available in the requested school. Lansdowne currently is facing a serious capacity issue so transfer may be limited.
What is being proposed to address keeping siblings together in the same school that may end up in two different catchments?
Please visit our original FAQ that was shared during Phase One of consultation: www.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2019/01/CatBoundRev_FAQs_2019.pdf
My child is due to start Kindergarten this year (2019) and I have registered her for one school, however, next year our catchment school will different. Can she continue to stay in her current registered school or her catchment school?
Our enrolment priorities do not require students to move from a school once enrolled. An altered catchment would not impact this.
General Questions – Miscellaneous
How recent were any Elementary or Middle schools closed down, or school buildings not in use as schools sold, in School District 61? Which schools? Why?
There have been no middle school closures in the District since middle schools were instituted in 2002. In 2008, Burnside Elementary School was closed. In 2014 Sundance Elementary school was closed.
Burnside is now the home of the District’s alternative and continuing education programs. Sundance is serving as a public elementary school in the Francophone school district. Lampson school closed in 2007. It is currently serving as a public school in the Francophone School District. In 2003, five other schools closed, two of which are still available to the District including Uplands and Richmond.
How many schools have been closed in the last 10 years, which of those have been sold (for how much money) and where have funds been allocated?
In the last 10 years, one school has been closed (Sundance). It is currently being leased to another public school (School District No. 93) for 100k per year. Lampson and Burnside were closed just a little time before that. Lampson is also leased to the French public school District at over 400k per year. Burnside has just been reopened as home to our alternative and continuing education programs that were previously housed at S.J. Willis.
As the leases are of less than five years the funds are allocated directly to our general revenue which funds educational operations of the District.
Why were there not multiple options put before the Board to consider as part of phase two of the consultation?
We intend to provide the Board options as part of the “What We Heard” document for them to consider. As noted above, however, we adhered to basic principles of limiting change, ensuring local access, and not recommending changes with significant financial implications.
Who were the individuals involved in the creation/design of the survey that was used to create the catchment boundary proposal? How much parent consultation was used in the design of the survey?
The primary participants in the creation of the first draft of the survey were our Boundary Review Team consisting of Secretary-Treasurer, Mark Walsh, Associate Superintendent, Colin Roberts, members of the District Learning Team, IT, Facilities and Communications. The draft survey was revised based on feedback from a team of District Leadership Team and from the Facilities Plan Committee. There are three parents on the Facilities Advisory Committee. In total, approximately 60 people provided feedback before the survey was released.
Why didn’t the French review consider capacity when looking at the programming?
Given the review rejected the concept of single track schools, capacity was not considered for two reasons:
- Currently, schools largely draw from their own catchments for immersion. There is not as much crossing boundaries to access such programming. For instance, Willows’ FI actually assists in addressing capacity issues at Oaklands.
- The Boundary Review Team did consider capacity issues in the context of FI. For instance, we were unable to find an appropriate solution to adding FI to address the demand on the west side of the District.
School Specific Questions
What is going to happen to Craigflower to encourage families that are in the catchment to go there?
Currently, the District is actively seeking to move the school to a fully upgraded and partially new Shoreline. We feel that the new facility along with limited transfer options will solve these issues. The District is actively planning seismic upgrades at Shoreline that would also house Craigflower. While a specific timeline is not in place we are hopeful that this will occur in the next 5-7 years.
Specifically in regards to Doncaster and Quadra family of school, why are the French and English streams being split up at this junction?
Currently, Mt. Doug’s catchment has a significantly smaller population than its capacity. While Reynolds has a larger catchment population than its capacity. This switch better balances these populations, although it does not completely achieve this.
Is the French Immersion Program going to be expanded at Lansdowne and Oak Bay School to ensure children moving to their new boundary can continue in the French program?
The addition of the Richmond Campus of Lansdowne will allow for increased capacity at Lansdowne which would allow for growth in both French and English.
What is the capacity of Richmond School?
The capacity of Richmond was 388 when operated as an elementary school. The capacity as a middle school will be closer to 315 when exploratory spaces are taken into consideration.
What is the enrolment predictions for Richmond School’s use for Grade 6 Lansdowne students?
There will be approximately 275 grade six students at Richmond.
If Richmond School reopened as an elementary school, how many students could be accommodated at the school?
Richmond’s capacity as an elementary school was 388, although this number has not been explored with recent class size and composition limits.
How will students at Richmond School do their exploratories’ classes?
Exploratory spaces will be created, but the range of options available to the grade 6 students may be more limited than it is to the students in grades 7 & 8.
Has there been any thought given to housing a full program at the Richmond campus – either the whole english or the whole French Immersion program? This, while not ideal, seems like a much better situation where all students would be attending a true middle school, and the grade 6 students don’t end up being shunted to the side.
Serious consideration was given to creating a separate, new middle school at the Richmond campus. However, by placing all of the grade sizes together the District is able to ensure that age appropriate exploratories. Richmond will likely to be able offer Art, Home Economics, Music, Outdoor Education and other exploratory options comparable to those provided at the main building of Lansdowne Middle School. However, it is not likely that Richmond would be able to offer the Tech Ed program that we would like to see provided for students in Grades 7 & 8.
Additionally, the Board and the District determined after the French Immersion Advisory Group review of programming, that there is significant value in maintaining balanced populations (French and English) at all dual track schools, if and where possible. Therefore, while the option of a single-track school at Richmond was contemplated, it was not put forward as a recommendation.
Why the French Immersion Program was not considered at the Monterey Middle School?
The capacity at Monterey Middle School is not sufficient to house a dual track program.
Currently, Monterey does have a number of students from out of catchment. That number, however, will shrink as the registration priorities take affect. Further, while Monterey has space to add students it does not have space to add classrooms. Therefore, at minimum Monterey would likely have to add six to nine classrooms for French Immersion (2-3 of each grade). This would mean either portables or an extension of the school. This was not seriously contemplated by the Boundary Review Team.
Further, another requirement of the class size and composition agreement is a requirement that Districts review boundaries to ensure that we are making “best efforts” to meet our obligations under the collective agreement. If we were to limit English track classes at the school to make room for French Immersion, we would likely be farther away from compliance.
South Park and Cloverdale:
Did the Greater Victoria School District 61 analyze its catchment boundary proposal in light of its obligation under Policy 110 on Equity, especially in the context of the closing of Victor, South Park and Cloverdale Elementary at the same time as committing to expand early French Immersion Access?
Yes, the boundary proposal considered the District’s obligation under Policy 110. Currently, a number of schools are facing limited space (including amenities) that are impacting their ability to provide equitable access to programs.
Further, the Board has approved the “Inclusion for Learning Strategy”. This strategy with capital and operating dollars is over a million dollars. It is intended to provide flexible learning spaces for students in all schools. By not balancing school populations, this strategy becomes more difficult and students with diverse learning needs may not be able to access equitable spaces in the District. It is important to note that this strategy is still rolling out across the District.
What steps did the District consider when evaluating the impact of eliminating the Elementary Schools of Choice program, specifically South Park Elementary?
The District is in the process of weighing the potential repurposing of schools of choice as catchment schools along with its obligation to provide and create space for those students who will not be able to access their neighbourhood school due to enrolment pressures. The District is committed to ensuring equitable learning spaces for all students across the district.
Is the data from the South Park Families Catchment available to the public?
The data associated with South Park enrolment is available on the District’s website: www.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2019/01/All-School-Level-Projections.pdf
Did the Greater Victoria School District 61 consider its recommendations with consideration of Policy 5119.5 – Student Retention?
It is the District’s intent to maximize student retention in all locations, regardless of any individual school’s instructional/organizational model.
Did the Greater Victoria School District 61 consider its recommendations with consideration of Policy 6120.1 – Programs of Choice?
Policy 6120.1 requires the Board’s ongoing evaluation of the District’s operational needs. The Boundary Review and consultative processes provide the Board with information to support this evaluation.
South Park has a large number of child with diverse learning needs. How will they be served in other schools?
South Park’s population is diverse and is line with many of our regular program populations. Further, all students are able to stay at their schools. The proposal does not impact currently registered students. FInally, the District is very proud of the supports it has in place for children with diverse learning needs. For instance, in addition to a very high contingent of Educational Assistants, top notch Learning Support Teachers and inclusive learning professionals in both GVTA and ASA this year the District set a standard of .5 FTE counselling time in all of our elementary schools.
Are there any alternative ways of including catchment area children at South Park Family School and Cloverdale Traditional School without removing the unique programs of choice?
The focus of the boundary review was ensuring that families have access to schools within reasonable distances of their home, particularly at the elementary school level. The alternative includes creating very large boundaries with large walk distances. We could bus students within the District. We could expand capacity at some schools through portables or expansion. These options were not actively considered given the desire of individuals to access schools in their neighbourhood, the cost of full expansions, and the inequity of access to amenities when portables are deemed as the solution.
Will the current “traditional” component of Cloverdale be grandparented until my child transitions to middle school?
Once boundaries are finalized and approved by the Board, if Cloverdale becomes a catchment school, the traditional component will no longer be considered in effect. Although, as noted, the school culture may continue.
Will the current school of choice philosophies remain if the school becomes a catchment school?
Each school has an individualized culture that is created by the parents and staff. Schools may maintain their current cultures if the community so desires.
Why are only catchment students allowed to have the opportunity to be in schools of choice?
We anticipate that the proposed catchment for South Park will allow for transfers into the school. The catchment population as drawn is slightly less than the capacity of the school. If demographic growth occurs, then that opportunity would lessen.
The Cloverdale catchment will be more fully populated. Given this, we anticipate more limited transfers into the school.
How many Cloverdale Students are in the Quadra catchment currently?
There are currently 163 students.
Would it be feasible to expand catchments of other schools to allow the schools of choice to remain status quo?
While some catchment boundaries could be expanded and travel distances still remain within the guidelines established for regular programs, the survey results appear to indicate the community’s desire to keep catchments as small as possible. As a result, the first proposal put forward for community consultation reflects the District’s efforts to keep walk distances for elementary schools to a minimum where this appeared feasible. In addition, the feedback we received was to achieve to as little change as possible.
Why is traditional education not deemed with this same value and protection? Could the French immersion programs be distributed differently to balance enrolment pressures?
All programs within the District are of value. The catchment boundary review focused on demographic information rather than attempting to assess the relative merit of the various programs offered by the District.
While French Immersion programs could be distributed different to balance enrolment pressures, the District believes that such a reorganization would be disruptive to a large number of students, particularly at the elementary level. The decision not to propose a significant reorganization of French Immersion programming in the first draft of the catchment boundary review was founded on one of the guiding principles that came out of the community survey – to minimize the number of families impacted by changes proposed.
Is there a difference between an alternative education program and school of choice?
The District’s alternative program is housed at SJ Burnside and formerly at SJ Willis. THis program is funded in a different manner than our catchment secondary schools. The schools of choice are elementary schools with the District as their catchment.
Given that the Boundary Recommendations actually add to the Spectrum catchment (Thetis Vale) and the projections for Spectrum showing it going over capacity how will the issue be addressed?
Currently, Spectrum has significant out of catchment transfer (both District and non-District students). By limiting this, Spectrum’s population will be limited. The projection we have posted does not fully take this into account. Spectrum’s current out-of-catchment population is 409, including 166 from Esquimalt High, 44 from SD63, and 78 from SD62.
Has the District consider re-opening Uplands to alleviate capacity issues at Willows and Oaklands?
We looked at using Uplands as a school. The demographics around the school, however, do not support the opening of a school given the limited population that lives in the area compared to the areas of density of schools like Oaklands.
Further, the capacity issues at Campus View are driven by its large French Immersion catchment and desirability of out of catchments students to attend. The Campus View regular program catchment population is significantly lower than its capacity.
What changes are occurring to Victor Elementary School and grounds to accommodate all the students from Kindergarten to Grade Five?
Until the consultation process with students and families is completed, the District is not moving forward or exploring any changes. It is important to hear from the community about the proposal first and then we’ll move forward together.
Will there be before and after school care on-site at Victor Elementary?
If Victor were to open as a catchment school, it would depend on what the nature of the programming at the school was. If it was solely a catchment school it would take a number of years to fill the school. This would likely allow for out of school care. Further, the gym could likely be used for this purpose. There is, however, no room at the site to expand options.
Why didn’t the District state where current students at Victor would transition to?
We felt that if Victor were to become a catchment school that the families at Victor needed to be part of the discussion on what the future programming would look like. We have proposed options such as the possibility of the programming continuing at the school as it grows into a catchment school, while an alternative location could be built solely for the program. The District is committed to ensuring these students are well served both in the short and long term and it is only through consultation that an appropriate alternative could be created.
What is the capacity of Victor School?
The school has seven classrooms that would serve approximately 154 students. This number is comprised of two K classes.
What is the enrolment predictions for Victor School?
Currently, there are 135 elementary aged students within the proposed catchment, with the number projected to increase to 150.
If Victor School is opened as an Elementary School, what grades will be accommodated?
Ultimately, the school would be a K-5 school. While subject to demand, we anticipate that it would start with Kindergarten, Grade 1 and possibly Grade 2.
Why is Foul Bay Road divided where one half of the street attends Willows Schools and the other side of the street attends Oaklands Elementary?
Where school capacities demand/allow, boundaries have been drawn down the middle of busy roads so that students do not have to cross these roads if it can be avoided.