Crowded schools prompt new registration policies

District making it harder to attend out-of-catchment schools

Dr. Thomas A. Swift Elementary in east Abbotsford.

Dr. Thomas A. Swift Elementary in east Abbotsford.

Attending a school outside one’s home catchment area will become increasingly difficult for Abbotsford students.

Registration for next school year is now underway and Abbotsford parents may want to keep the following changes in mind.

“Attending your catchment school is going to be more likely going forward than being able to easily be a cross-catchment student in the district and that’s simply because of the available spaces in many of the schools,” said the district‘s secretary treasurer, Ray Velestuk.

Many schools in east Abbotsford are already well over capacity and any available spots should be prioritized for students who live in that area, which is growing in population, he said.

All new registration management policies apply to students registered out of catchment after June 1, 2016.

Students registered after June 1, 2016 will have to re-apply every year to continue attending a school outside their home catchment area.

Their application will be given third priority, following in-catchment students who attended the school the previous year, and new students who live in the catchment.

Those out-of-catchment students’ applications will be put on a waiting list and reviewed at the end of the first week of school in September.

Out-of-catchment students registered before June 1, 2016 and those with older siblings registered before the cut-off date also attending out of catchment will only have to apply at transfer points (from elementary to middle and middle to secondary schools).

When they apply, their application will be given fourth priority, following catchment students who attended the school the previous year, new students who live in the catchment area and non-catchment students who attended the previous year.

The new out-of-catchment students’ applications will be reviewed at the end of the first week of school in September.

Editor’s note: The print version of this story misstated the cut-off date for new registration policies.