Willoughby Slope catchment consultation update

May 25, 2016

Langley, BC – Consultation on the proposed Willoughby Slope school catchments has reached a critical phase as feedback has been analyzed and staff begins to map out the possibilities for the Board of Education to consider at their Regular Public Meeting on June 21, 2016.

Very little feedback on the actual school catchment adjustments has been collected to date as most of the feedback has centered on the process and the impact on families and communities. Two school communities in particular, that of Richard Bulpitt Elementary (RBES) and R.C. Garnett Elementary (RCGES), have provided the bulk of the feedback around family and community impacts.

Grandfathering students at RBES and allowing current students and their siblings to remain at RBES is of the utmost importance to that school community and with the approved addition of four portables, it may be possible to allow grandfathering. Adding portables to RBES increases the capacity of the school in the short term and means it would not be necessary to open the James Anderson Learning Centre space, again alleviating a source of concern for parents and guardians, that was being considered. Guidelines and criteria are being considered for how grandfathering students would be implemented and these options and details will be presented to the Board of Education in June.

An initial first step, in an effort to have current students remain at RBES, is to have new kindergarten students (for September 2016) attend the proposed new school catchments for the upcoming school year.  Ms Lenko, principal at RBES, will begin contacting these families this week to encourage them to attend school in the proposed new catchments.  Taking this step will provide additional space at Richard Bulpitt so that other families may be able to remain at the school.

Another theme that has come to the forefront in the course of the consultation process is the use of classroom space for Neighbourhood Learning Centres (NLC), including childcare. Neighbourhood Learning Spaces are accessed by many families and address a need within the community, however classroom space is at a premium and may be needed. Different families have different needs and addressing the needs of all is a complicated task. It is likely that for at least the next two years it may be possible to leave NLC spaces operational at schools and not impact childcare spaces.

The Langley Board of Education will make a decision on the proposed Willoughby Slope catchment adjustments at its Regular Meeting Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The public meeting begins at 7:00pm.


Contact: Ken Hoff, Communications Manager, School District No. 35: 604-534-7891