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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Police investigation underway at Cloverdale townhouse complex

Officers were in the 19000-block of 64th Avenue – near the Langley-Surrey border – Thursday evening

Langley man arrested in connection with $264,000 drug and cash bust in Grand Prairie

Police have warrants out for Christine Emes and Christopher Gilliat, also from Langley

PHOTOS: Latest addition to Mural Walk in downtown Langley a ‘showstopper’

Fort Langley artist Alex Stewart completed the artwork in two days

An unofficial contest to name a nameless Langley City park comes up with a winner

Councillor Nathan Pachal thought the ‘lonely’ mini-park deserved a name

One person treated for smoke inhalation after Langley fire

Township firefighters were called to Deer Creek Estates Wednesday night

B.C.’s top doctor thanks supporters after revealing threats over COVID-19 measures

Dr. Bonnie Henry says COVID-19 has caused some people to lash out in anger and frustration out of fear

B.C.-born Trybe social media app’s award system connects with Nickelback singer

Rock stars, jet planes, scooter tricks and the creation of a new platform ready for launch

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

B.C. VOTES 2020: Speculation tax misses speculators, B.C. Liberals say

Andrew Wilkinson, John Horgan clash over housing costs, solutions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

NDP, Greens divided on pace of child care improvements in B.C. election campaign

NDP Leader John Horgan recommitted to $10-a-day child care and blamed the Greens for not supporting his efforts

Wind warning for White Rock, South Surrey

Gusts up to 90 km/h expected from Richmond to Langley Friday (Sept. 25) morning

Most Read