In an effort to mitigate overcrowding at Yorkson Creek Middle School, the Langley School District will now require parents of all children entering Grade 6 at the school to prove they currently live in Willoughby.
In order for the children to get into the middle school in September, they must bring verification of address to YCMS by a deadline of mid-May.
The school district continues to work with the Willoughby slope school communities, in an effort to manage space and enrolment at the various schools.
In June 2014, Assistant Superintendent Gord Stewart sent a letter home to families indicating there would be limitations placed on who could attend the middle school, which already has portables.
The letter indicated that families will need to “make other arrangements to attend a school for Grade 6 if living outside of the Willoughby area,” for September 2016.
At the Tuesday (April 26) board meeting, trustee David Tod asked how the district will prevent cheaters who use relatives’ or friends’ addresses or try to get in.
“We are going to have to trust the integrity of the community,” said Superintendent of Schools Suzanne Hoffman.
The district held six consultation meetings at Willoughby schools last month to explain the catchment changes and gather feedback from parents.
Staff heard from the Richard Bulpitt Elementary community about the importance of grandfathering students, meaning students currently in primary grades (and any subsequent siblings) would be allowed to remain at the school.
Originally, children in Grades 2 and 3 could remain, but those in Grade 1 and kindergarten would have to move to the new proposed catchment.
In order to determine the feasibility of grandfathering students in kindergarten and Grade 1, a survey link will be emailed to primary families to determine how many families want their children to remain at RBES and how many would prefer they be moved to RC Garnett.
RC Garnett parents have told the district that they are concerned about who will go to the currently empty James Anderson school.
That school may act as an overflow for RC Garnett if the population warrants.
The district and board have urged the Ministry of Education to approve the building of a high school in Willoughby to help relieve the population pressures. Its second priority would be for another elementary school on the slope.
The Ministry responded with a letter this week, saying they recognize the high school is a high priority and will be in touch in the near future.