On Tuesday night, the Board of Education approved the proposed changes to school catchment boundaries, which will be in effect for the 2020/2021 school year.
The new catchment boundaries will help alleviate current capacity issues in the School District and address burgeoning enrolment. The District has seen an additional 1,000 students register in its schools in the past four years. Some schools are already full and long-term projections indicate a steady increase in the student population.
“After a lengthy consultation process and multiple proposals, the Board has landed on a solution that we feel best addresses the issue of overcrowding in our schools,” shared Board Chair Jordan Watters. “This has not been an easy decision for the Board, however, we are confident that the latest recommendations will provide a long-term solution and best accommodate the needs of families across our current 47 schools. We heard from thousands of parents throughout this process and it was clear that any changes would have a domino effect and would be extremely challenging for students and families. It has been with very careful consideration that the Board has approved the recommendations, which includes a new enrolment sibling priority for families that are affected by boundary changes to help assist them during a time of transition.”
For all of the final catchment boundary changes for the 2020/2021 school year, please review the Catchment Boundary Brochure.
“There have been many factors that have been taken into consideration and our staff have been working diligently to analyze enrolment projections, space requirements, and possible boundaries while determining the most viable solutions,” noted Superintendent Shelley Green. “Throughout this process, we have heard how limited space is having an educational impact on our learning community and we are optimistic that the new boundaries will help address those issues by alleviating spacing pressures in our schools. It is our goal to ensure we are creating the most optimal learning environments for all of our students and staff.”
For all the schools that will have a new catchment boundary, the District will be working with the school communities to facilitate smooth transitions. The District will be connecting with the schools in the Fall to discuss next steps and how families can be involved in the transition process.
All of the affected schools were directly consulted with prior to the Board of Education making a final decision. For additional background information about the review, consultation process and the summary engagement reports, please visit: www.sd61.bc.ca/catchment-boundary-review/
In addition, all students will continue to remain at their current school until their next school level transition. Upon entering middle and secondary school, students will be registered at their new catchment school based on their home address. The District will continue to facilitate school transfers in alignment with the new enrolment priorities, but all transfer requests will be based on the availability of seats at the desired school. For more information about enrolment priorities, registration and transfers, please visit: www.sd61.bc.ca/parent-student-resources/registration/
The new boundaries will be coming into effect for the 2020/21 school year. Registration for the 2020/2021 school year will start in January 2020.
Currently, the Greater Victoria School District has 47 schools across six municipalities (Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, View Royal, portions of the Highlands) and two Nations (Songhees and Esquimalt). The last boundary review was approximately 20 years ago.