Langley Board of Education approves catchment changes for Willoughby

June 22, 2016

Langley, BC – Catchment changes for elementary schools on the Willoughby Slope have been approved by the Board of Education and will come into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.

In the spring of 2015, a process of consultation began with staff, parents and the community on the Willoughby Slope to determine priorities for consideration in potential catchment changes. In June 2015 staff presented a detailed report to the Board summarizing the consultation process and feedback on the process so far. At that time the Board approved maintaining the current configuration of schools (K-5, 6-8, 9-12) and requested that staff redraw Willoughby Slope elementary school catchments for consideration.

Staff provided the Board proposed catchment changes at their Regular Meeting Tuesday, February 23, 2016. The staff report contained projected school enrolments under the proposed changes, considerations arising from the proposed changes including concerns raised by the community regarding grandfathering of students and a plan for community consultations moving forward. Six community consultation events were held in April 2016 on the 7th, 11th and 13th with afternoon and evening sessions in the local community.

On April 26, 2016, Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman provided an update to the Board and included two letters that were sent to families on the Willoughby Slope. The first requested that all students entering grade 6 at Yorkson Creek Middle School register their child, at one of several in-person sessions held at the school to confirm student addresses. The second letter was sent to Richard Bulpitt families determining, from the District’s perspective, the feasibility of grandfathering all current primary children to remain at their school.

At the Regular Meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, trustees were provided a further update including the feedback received from the community during the consultation period, updates on Richard Bulpitt Elementary and concerns over grandfathering, the Neighbourhood Learning Centre space and possible use of the James Anderson site. At R.C. Garnett Elementary concerns were raised over overcrowding and possible use of the James Anderson site. To address concerns four additional portables are being added to Richard Bulpitt Elementary and incoming kindergarten students for 2016-2017 were encouraged to consider enrolment at their proposed 2017-2018 catchment school.

After addressing community concerns around the use of the James Anderson site, grandfathering at Richard Bulpitt Elementary and overcrowding at R.C. Garnett, staff recommended that the Board of Education adopt the changes to catchments on the Willoughby Slope as there were no concerns directly related to the actual boundary changes. The new catchments can be viewed online at here.