New student enrolment priorities that place greater emphasis on catchment students attending their neighbourhood school, while including priority for siblings attending a school together at the same time are being recommended by a committee of parents, staff, students and Trustees to the Board of Education this month.

The proposed student enrolment priorities for introduction in the 2018-2019 school year, are:

  1. re-enrolling students
  2. a catchment area sibling
  3. a catchment area child
  4. a non-catchment sibling
  5. a non-catchment child
  6. a non-school district child

These enrolment priorities would apply to new registrations, transfer requests and student transitions between elementary and middle, and middle and high school for English and French programs.  The proposed changes differ from the current priorities in that non-catchment siblings would no longer have priority over new catchment students.

Student enrolment priorities within the Greater Victoria School District have not been reviewed in decades. Until recently, declining enrolment had meant most schools could accommodate a family’s choice of schools. However, with growing enrolment in recent years, and an expected 2,000 new students within the next 10 years, space is becoming limited at some schools.  In addition to this, recent provincial changes to class size and composition have recently impacted the availability of space in schools.

Over the past 10 months the Student Registration and Transfer Ad Hoc Committee has reviewed data related to student enrolment, including; catchment and sibling data, transfer requests, space and facilities information, demand for French Immersion and various stakeholder perspectives. The committee updated the Operations Planning and Policy Committee in May 2017, and work has actively continued on consideration of the priorities over the past month. The Board of Education also directed that the committee’s work continue after recommendations to enrolment priorities are made, to review catchment boundaries, French Immersion demand and the potential for reopening schools.

The priorities will be considered at the June Board meeting, June 26th, where the public is also welcome to attend.

The detailed report is available here: https://www.sd61.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/91/2017/06/06-12-17-Reg-OPPs-Packup.pdf

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