The Chilliwack School District (SD33) is asking for public feedback to determine what the catchment area for the brand new Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt School will be, and which elementary schools will feed into which middle schools.
Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt elementary/middle school is due to open in September 2022, with space for 930 students in Grades K-8.
SD33 presents catchment options in a five page ‘Boundary Review and Feeder School Relationships’ document. The public is asked to read the document and take a survey that can be found at letstalksd33.ca/boundary-review
Where the catchment area is concerned, Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt elementary will be assigned some of the territory formerly within the boundaries of Unsworth, Watson and Vedder elementary schools.
Unsworth, in particular, is expected to lose about 90 students to Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt, though SD33 is proposing that Unsworth be allowed to accept students from outside of its catchment area as of September, 2022.
The biggest change for parents may come with the feeder school arrangements.
Mt. Slesse middle school will still draw students from Unsworth, Watson, Vedder and Cultus Lake elementary schools, but students from Promontory Heights Community School will now head to Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt in Grade 6.
Vedder middle school will still draw students from Watson, Tyson, Sardis and Evans elementary schools, but students from Yarrow and Greendale will now go to Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt in Grade 6.
Watson is the only elementary school currently being given a choice, and at least one parent commenting on the SD33 website isn’t impressed.
“It’s not fair that the kids that live right next door (to Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt) don’t get to attend this at the middle school level,” the parent wrote. “My daughter currently attends Unsworth and will be entering Grade 6 when this school opens. She’ll have to go to Mt. Slesse, when this school is a two minute walk away.
“Kids that go to Unsworth should get to choose, just like the Watson kids get to.”
The feeder system from middle school to high school also gets adjusted under the SD33 proposal.
Students who came to Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt middle school from Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt elementary or Promontory Heights Community School in Grade 6 will join Mt. Slesse students, feeding into G.W. Graham for Grade 9.
Students who came to Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt middle school from Yarrow or Greendale elementary in Grade 6 will join Vedder middle school students, feeding into Sardis secondary for Grade 9.
The SD33 document does suggest the opportunity for student transfers will exist where space permits, particularly at the middle and secondary school levels.
In cases where a student is already attending an elementary or middle school, a ‘legacy practice’ would allow them to remain, but SD33’s document added the caveat “that bussing will not be provided for students that choose not to transition to their new catchment school – Stitó:s Lá:lém totí:lt elementary/middle school.”