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Changes coming to 鶹Ƶ Schools’ school space guiding principles

Changes are necessary to 鶹Ƶ Schools’ guiding principles that direct how the district manages short term capacity for enrollment growth. The proposed changes include clearer, more detailed language on enrollment priorities at both the K-8 and Grade 9-12 levels.

The original guiding principles, approved by the Board of Education in June 2022, met the district’s needs for a short time. However, as capacity pressure continues to mount in 鶹Ƶ Schools, the principles no longer meet the district’s needs. They require more clarity to ensure greater transparency in future decision-making.

 

Original guiding principles

  • Guiding Principle #1 – Prioritize the utilization of space within our schools to support K-12 in-catchment regular enrolment, while also ensuring sufficient play and outdoor learning space; and
  • Guiding Principle #2 – Programs of choice, community partnerships (including infant/toddler childcare), and non-instructional uses of space will be operated, and when necessary, relocated to school facilities where space permits.

 

Proposed revised guiding principles on space use for K-8

  • Guiding Principle #1 – Prioritize the utilization of space within our schools to support K-8 students in the following priority sequence:
    • Students that reside in 鶹Ƶ are placed within our District’s schools;
    • Students are placed in their school catchment zone (Fraser River Community Zone, Glenbrook Community Zone and Queensborough Community Zone);
    • Students are placed in their neighbourhood in-catchment regular school; and
    • Where possible, provide the maximum space possible given the enrolment priority for play and outdoor learning space.
  • Guiding Principle #2 – Programs of choice, community partnerships (including infant/toddler childcare), and non-instructional uses of space will be operated in school facilities, and when necessary, relocated where space permits.

 

Proposed revised guiding principles on space use for Grades 9-12

Since the district only has one secondary school (鶹Ƶ Secondary) with its own capacity needs set in a single zone and catchment, the district aims to create guiding principles that are unique to this school:

  1. Secondary students that reside in 鶹Ƶ are placed within 鶹Ƶ Secondary School or within our alternate programs.
  2. Provide equitable access to educational opportunities by creating additional space for students in specialty instructional programs (home economics, physical education, arts, Applied Design, Skills and Technology (ADST) etc.).
  3. Maintaining 21st century learning environment created within the school to maintain space for flexibility, collaborative learning which foster cross-disciplinary work, accessible and inviting hallway spaces and visible/open learning.

 

Short-term and long-term capacity challenges

The district is currently experiencing a “capacity crisis” brought on by a growing student population and a severe lack of indoor and outdoor space in existing schools. As 鶹Ƶ’s population continues to grow and more students enter the district system, it is increasingly necessary to deal with short-term space needs in schools  until planned new schools open. These short-term challenges and the bridging solutions needed to address them will also have an impact on the district’s budget.

The 2024-2025 school year will see the following strategies implemented:

  • Additional on-site portables and/or receive interior renovations at some elementary and middle schools.
  • Move to online course delivery of Career Life Education at 鶹Ƶ Secondary School.
  • Slight reduction in international student enrollment at 鶹Ƶ Secondary School.

While short-term measures above will alleviate some of the pressures on a year-to-year basis, long-term solutions are necessary to prevent overcrowding.