Comox Valley Schools is beginning a conversation with the public to address enrollment pressures that will impact the placement of students in neighbourhood schools by fall 2020. As a result of increasing student population in the region and the 2017 Supreme Court Ruling that reduced classroom size, some district schools are operating near or above capacity with no
additional room or viable options to expand.

The Board of Education has initiated the development of a consultation process for the fall of 2019 on catchment areas. Before we can begin consultation, it is important to first ask the community what more information should be considered that may not have been addressed already. Having an early conversation will help us create an engaging experience for the consultation process.

The Board is addressing the capacity issue now to make decisions early enough to implement for the 2020/21 school year when enrollment will surpass space currently available in a few district schools.

Four meetings are scheduled in May 2019 as follows:

• Lake Trail Middle School – Monday, May 6th, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• Cumberland Community School (multi-purpose room) – Tuesday, May 7th, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• Miracle Beach School – Thursday, May 9th, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• Huband Park Elementary School – Monday, May 13th, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The agenda for each meeting will include a situation report on the state of enrollment and pressures in the district, enrollment trends and forecasts, a review of the catchment areas and grade configurations in our schools, and the procedures for cross-boundary transfer requests. The meeting will then move into a focus group format in which we ask the community for input and
ask questions so that all concerns are shared and discussed.

Together, the board, staff and the community can shape the consultation process in a manner that is meaningful to all. We encourage the public, particularly residents of one of the neighbourhood schools listed above, to attend a meeting and share in the conversation. These early awareness sessions will help build a productive consultation process for the fall of 2019 around catchment areas.

 

Mary H. Lee

Communications & Community Engagement Manager , Comox Valley School District