Boundary changing for Promontory and Vedder elementary schools

Chilliwack school district is expanding the Promontory elementary boundary to alleviate enrollment pressures at Vedder elementary.

Boundary changes coming for Promontory elementary and Vedder elementary. The new Promontory boundary will include developments to the east and south of Teskey Way

Chilliwack school district is expected to change the catchment area for two of its schools that will see more students going to Promontory elementary and less to Vedder elementary.

After years of over-capacity issues at Promontory, long-term projections are now showing a significant decline, whereas at Vedder, enrollment is increasing.

“The population has matured at Promontory and the enrollment projections moving ahead show they’re going to have declining enrollment,” said assistant superintendent Rohan Arul-Pragasam, looking specifically at incoming kindergarten students.

“Longterm, if we do not make adjustments, projections could have the population decline as low as 420.”

The school currently has 540 students enrolled; with six portables on site, the school has a capacity for 570 students.

(The school building itself has a capacity for 388 students.)

Vedder elementary is experiencing the opposite. With new development projects in the area, “Vedder elementary is exploding,” said Arul-Pragasam. “If you look at the growth for future years, they’re going to outgrow their functional capacity.”

Most of the pressures are coming from the hillside.

The new boundary for Promontory will continue to include all present homes and residences in the catchment, including Uplands Road, west of Promontory Road. The expanded boundary will now also include developments to the east and south of Teskey Way, up the hill.

The remaining hillside, on Promontory Road down from Teskey will continue to feed into Vedder.

Vedder elementary has been taking students off the hill since 2007, when the school district put a hard cap on Promontory elementary and closed the boundary in an effort to reduce pressures on the school with its elevated population.

The changes will be effective September, 2014.

Students already at the schools will not be affected, but incoming students living in the new boundary will be required to attend Promontory. Vedder elementary will be capped, meaning no new, out-of-catchment students will not be able to attend.

The school district is hosting a parent forum on May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Vedder elementary. Parents must register ahead of time.

Chilliwack board of education will vote on the boundary change at the May 6 public board meeting.

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