Families hoping to enroll their children in schools outside of their immediate catchment area might be out of luck in the 2016–17 school year.
School District 70 plans to preserve student spaces in Alberni schools for potential new families to the area before allowing any cross-boundary enrolment.
“We haven’t filled up all of our schools at max, we’re not filling them all up at this point, we are reserving some space,” said Greg Smyth, superintendent of schools.
Smyth said saving spaces in schools is important for the continuation in the trend of new families moving to Port Alberni.
“We have seen movement in Port Alberni,” Smyth said. “The real estate market is now alive and there are lots of families who are either moving within Port Alberni or families that are coming to Port Alberni, so we’re still preserving space in our schools to accommodate for those students.”
Cross-boundary enrolment is not something SD70 is ready for and Smyth said families who are interested enrolling their children in out-of-catchment schools will have to put their names on a waiting list.
Accommodating space in schools for children who live in that catchment area and for any new families who move to the catchment area is the first priority for school trustees, prior to allowing cross-boundary enrolment.
“We’re just taking a very cautious approach to this.”