Catchment Boundary Review

The Greater Victoria School District is conducting a catchment boundary review. Due to increasing enrolment and limited space, the District is considering revising catchment boundaries to create space in some of its schools.

Some schools are already operating at full capacity with the most recent class size changes and long-term projections indicate an additional 1,800 students may enroll in the District over the next ten years. The District must re-evaluate catchment boundaries in order to align a growing student population with each schools’ capacities.

What is a catchment boundary?

Every school in the Greater Victoria School District has a catchment boundary. A catchment boundary determines which students in a geographical area are eligible to attend a specific school. Every residential address in the District is connected to a school catchment.

To determine your catchment boundary visit: School Catchment Boundaries

Background

For many years, there was a decrease in enrolment across the District giving students more flexibility to transfer from one catchment to another. Through declining enrolment, some schools were even closed. Most recently, the District has seen an increase in student registration. Since the 2015-16 school year, the District has seen more than 1,000 new students enter into its schools.  This is a growth pattern that is projected to continue in years to come.

History of full-time equivalent enrolment increase/decrease over the past 8 years:

2011/12 – (164) decrease of 0.88%
2012/13 – (34.5) decrease of 0.18%
2013/14 – (211.3) decrease of 1.13%
2014/15 – 24.9 increase of 0.13%
2015/16 – 249.5 increase of 1.35%
2016/17 – 176.9 increase of 0.94%
2017/18 – 243.4 increase of 1.29%
2018/19 – 382.1 increase of 2.0%

The increase in student enrolment combined with limited space in some schools led to the District’s student enrolment priorities. In 2017, a consultation process on priorities took place to help determine the order in which students are placed in a school when space is limited. During that time, the District heard from the community the importance of students being able to attend their neighbourhood school – also known as their catchment boundary school.  As well as the importance of keeping siblings together.

The feedback received from the public helped inform the District’s priorities. The Board of Education approved the student enrolment priorities in Spring 2017. The priorities apply to all new registrations, transfer requests, elementary to middle and middle to secondary transitions. They were put in effect for the 2018-2019 school year to help alleviate space availability pressures.

*Please note that student enrolment priorities will not change due to the catchment boundary review. Student enrolment priorities will apply to all new proposed catchment boundaries.

Class sizes

In addition to the growing student population, the Supreme Court of Canada reinstated contractual language that called for smaller class sizes. The smaller class legislation came into effect from the 2017-18 school year, which directly impacted the availability of space in the schools.

Catchment Considerations

There are many factors that the District needs to take into consideration while reviewing school boundaries, such as:

  • Age of current infrastructure
  • Capacity of Schools
  • Future Housing Starts
  • Transportation
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Student Enrolment Priorities
  • Enrolment Projections
  • Current Students Enrolment
  • Student Transfers
  • Staffing
  • Programs of Choice (French Immersion, Sports Academies, etc.)
  • Schools of Choice (Cloverdale, South Park)

Boundary Review Consultation

As stated above, there are many factors contributing to the Catchment Boundary Review and even more considerations when creating new proposed boundaries. To increase awareness and greater understanding, a public consultation process will commence. The District will be seeking community input to understand the community’s perspective, which will help inform the decision-making of the Board of Education.

Boundary Review Timeline:

Survey Mid-November
Survey Results presented to the Board of Education December 10, 2018 – Operations Policy and Planning Committee Meeting
The District draws proposed catchment boundary borders December – January
Revised maps presented to the Board of Education January 14, 2019 – Operations Policy and Planning Committee Meeting
Consultation on proposed boundaries – Open Houses January – February
Collect feedback on proposed boundaries and report back to the Board of Education February – March
Board of Education determines new catchment boundaries Spring 2019
Implementation of new catchment boundaries September 2020

Next Steps:

The survey will be available here come mid-November.


Additional Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions
Catchment Boundary Maps
School Locator Tool  (please use to determine French Immersion catchments)
Long Term Facilities Plan

Disclaimer

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