A new catchment area has been approved for West Sechelt Elementary School in an effort to address overcrowding issues that are expected to get worse in the future.
Last year School District No. 46 (SD46) trustees approved the addition of one portable to accommodate high enrolment at the school, but noted the catchment area had to be changed in the future to fully address the issue.
After much consultation with the public, the school board announced the newly defined catchment area at their Feb. 11 board meeting.
The new boundary for West Sechelt Elementary runs along Page Road on the east side, Edward Road on the west side, Reeves Road on the north side and includes Yule Road and Bligh Road on the south.
"Based on feedback received throughout the consultation period, it was recommended that future students residing alongside the highway and in the Derby Road area be moved to the Kinnikinnick Elementary catchment area," secretary treasurer Nicholas Weswick reported.
The change does not affect students already enrolled in West Sechelt Elementary or those who have siblings already enrolled there.
"The catchment change chosen was believed to have the least impact on families close to the school while ensuring ease of travel on major arteries for busing for families whose homes are now outside the area," said SD46 board chair Betty Baxter.
"This model also eases the pressure now, but should help further in the future as some areas where development is speculated are now outside the catchment area."
The District Parents Advisory Committee (DPAC) is satisfied with the final decision of the school board.
"The school boardspent many hours researchingthe area's demographics and asked many questions before coming to this decision. Although this new catchment area willstill require portables at the West Sechelt school,it will keep the enrolment at a manageable level while maintaining the community's desire to stay together," DPAC co-chair Allyson Fawcus said. "I feel the finalresult is a good compromise from both sides and a tribute to the fact that the school board does listen to parent input."
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