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District launching school catchment consultation process

Comox Valley Schools is taking a close look at pressure points when it comes to school capacity across the district.

So, starting on Nov. 4, it’s kicking off a boundary catchment consultation process.

The school board wants your say as it re-evaluates catchment boundary changes.

The goal is to balance registration with space availability at specific catchment schools in the district.

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Due to a jump in enrollment combined with limited space, some schools are operating near or above capacity with no room or options to expand.

Meanwhile, other schools have space and are not projected to grow. 

With enrollment expected to climb over the next decade, the Board is acting now to address the growing student population in the valley.

“A growing student population, which we have experience for three consecutive years, is good news for the district as it brings increased funding for public education. However, it does impose pressures on school capacity,” said Tom Demeo, Superintendent of Schools. “It’s really important for our community to understand that they play a critical role in addressing student population growth. Together, the Board, staff and the community can shape final decisions on school catchments, which best reflects the needs of our students and families.”

Demeo said the pre-consultation process started last spring. 

“At those meetings, the community shared with us that in order to help the district with this decision they needed accurate enrollment numbers and a few initial ideas of how to address the overcapacity issue. We designed our consultation process with these requests in mind.”

The consultation process will be held over two rounds of discussions with each of the school communities where enrollment pressures or concerns exist. 

The purpose of the Round 1 consultations is to share information and data and to explore ideas, which will address the enrollment problems in some valley schools. 

Consultation dates, times, and locations. (Supplied by Comox Valley Schools)

Parents will be invited to give some of their own ideas and provide feedback on the data and information presented. 

All the feedback will be collected and used to formulate options for the board to consider.

You should be prepared to engage in table discussions. 

If more consultation sessions are required they will be scheduled, with ample notification given to the community to attend.

On top of the consultation meetings, the district launched an online survey. Click here to link to it.

Based on input and feedback gathered from the survey, forum and the consultation process, the district’s senior staff will develop options and recommendations, which will be presented to the board for a final decision in early 2020.

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