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

Just Posted

Volunteers remove invasive species of plants along creek in Chilliwack

Fraser Valley Conservancy’s stream-side restoration event took place at Luckakuck Creek in Chilliwack

PHOTO: Rain in the forecast Sunday, sun expected by Tuesday in Chilliwack

Chilliwack has been treated to fairly warm and dry weather over the past two weeks

PHOTOS: Hand-made creations galore at Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market

The 45th annual event features 180 vendors and is a fundraiser for the Chilliwack Community Arts Council

Warrant issued for Chilliwack prolific offender

Do not attempt to apprehend David Allen Geoghegan, 29, police caution

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Security camera records hatchet attack on Langley store owner

Target escaped uninjured, but was ‘upset’ by incident

PHOTOS: Snoozing seal pup captures attention at White Rock Pier

Dozens of seals spent the day at White Rock’s iconic structure

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

Most Read