Surrey’s Panorama Ridge Secondary. (Photo: listings.kaassociates.ca)

Four Surrey schools are so full, in-catchment students are on waitlists

Students who didn’t attend feeder elementary schools may not be accepted as a result of overcrowding

Four Surrey high schools are currently so overcapacity that the district has set up “waitlists” for in-catchment students.

District Superintendent Jordan Tinney sent a memo dated Dec. 10 to principals saying Fleetwood Park, Panorama Ridge, Semiahmoo and Sullivan Heights secondaries now have “designated waitlists” for students who live in-catchment but did not attend a feeder elementary school in the 2018/19 school year.

The situation isn’t entirely new, according to district spokesman Doug Strachan, noting Sullivan Heights has had this in place for a few years. Strachan said Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary used to also have this designation, but that changed with the opening of Salish Secondary this fall, as the new school provided relief.

But, even so, the number of schools with these “waitlists” has now doubled, from two to four.

See also: Over-budget bids cause delay of five Surrey school projects

See also: Surrey school district surpasses projected enrolment

It’s all a result of overcrowding in the ever-growing district, Strachan noted.

“Where we are now, is having to say, ‘Sorry, but you’re going to have to go to a different school, we just don’t have the capacity here now. Even though you might be across the street from a school,’” Strachan said.

“It happens. We have had to turn back in some cases, families, or students, that lived in-catchment and get them into another secondary school,” he said, adding that in those instances, the schools keep track, and if space becomes available, those students are offered a transfer to their catchment.

Strachan couldn’t say how many children are on these waitlists, but that the district would have a better idea in the spring, after registration for the 2019-20 school year is underway.

Meantime, Tinney’s memo also revealed the long list of schools that are closed to out-of-catchment registration for the 2019-20 school year. In all, 44 schools are on the list, including the four high schools with the in-catchment “waitlists.”

Despite the situation, Strachan said it’s encouraging there have been more school funding announcements in the last year.

“When you’re growing at 1,000 students a year, there’s a certain amount of capital you need just to keep up.”

See also: Surrey school district’s portable count rises to 333: Allen

See more: Surrey school district looking at $8.5M bill for portables this year

A corporate report to Surrey council earlier this fall noted that 37,996 residential development units are expected to be built in Surrey and White Rock over the next 10 years. That number rises to 44,113, when including suites.

The district anticipates that growth will result in an additional 11,078 school-aged children enrolling over that time period. Currently, the district has an estimated 72,526 students.

As of Dec. 20, the district is operating with 325 portables.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

Plea deal results in guilty plea in fatal Langley shooting in 2017

First degree murder charge amended to conspiracy to commit murder

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

Abbotsford considers hiking development fees for new houses – and schools and churches

City considers hiking development cost charges on new institutional and agriculture buildings

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read