Greater Victoria school trustees to vote on enrolment priorities Monday night


WATCH:  Greater Victoria school trustees set to vote Monday on enrolment priorities as the district opens more classrooms. Isabelle Raghem reports. 

The Greater Victoria School District is reviewing its enrolment criteria in an effort to deal with a growing student population.

The district has said it expects an increase in 2,000 students over the next decade.

A committee established by the Greater Victoria School District is currently looking at whether student enrolment priorities need to be revised so there is a higher priority for students living within a catchment area.

If the criteria are changed, students living within the catchment area of a school would have a high priority then over siblings of students who are currently enrolled.

One mother who will be waiting anxiously for tonight’s vote is Ann Klein-Morgenstern. When she moved the family to Victoria almost two years ago, the catchment school didn’t have room. So her eldest Julia was enrolled at Braefoot elementary. But now changes in enrollment criteria could mean her youngest will have to go to a different school when she goes to kindergarten. 

“Having to send her to kindergarten without her sister there was terrifying and not something we wanted to consider,” Klein-Morgensten said. “To me keeping siblings apart doesn’t make sense.”

Parents and students were surveyed online in March and April. According to the committee, the majority of parent respondents said a child attending a school in the catchment area was more important than siblings attending the same school at the same time. Students were also in the majority when it comes to favouring catchment areas.

Classroom sizes also have to satisfy the maximum size requirement outlined in the November 2016 decision. The ruling restored contract language from 2002 on class size limits, as well as the number of students with special needs and specialist teachers in a classroom.

Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

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