North Van School District redraws catchment areas

The North Vancouver School District has changed the boundaries that determine where students can attend school in two areas of North Vancouver.

The changes are being made to catchment boundaries between Capilano and Norgate elementary schools in the lower Capilano area of the school district, and between Lynn Valley and Eastview elementary schools in Lynn Valley.

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Both changes are now in effect for kindergarten students starting school in the 2020/2021 school year as well as for any other students who register during the current school year, and are being made to balance enrolment between schools that are overcrowded with schools nearby that are underused.

Demographic changes and development patterns of certain neighbourhoods have contributed to both Capilano and Lynn Valley schools being on the “full” end of that scale.

According to enrolment forecasts, if no changes were made, enrolment at Capilano Elementary would have been over 100 per cent at 490 students by 2025.

Lynn Valley – which already has four portables - would have been operating at 140 per cent of capacity in the same time frame.

In contrast, Norgate and Eastview schools are among the most underused in the school district. Norgate currently operates at about 53 per cent capacity while Eastview operates at about 62 per cent.

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Neighbourhoods affected by changes to school catchment areas fall into the study area - graphic Birgit Brunner, North Shore News

By making the catchment changes, the school district hopes to gradually even out those numbers.

In the case of Capilano/Norgate, the change affects students who live in the area west of Capilano Road between Marine Drive and the Upper Levels Highway, including Fullerton Avenue, the Woodcroft apartment complex area and the emerging Lions Gate Village neighbourhood with townhouse developments on Glenaire Drive and Belle Isle Place as well as apartment towers on Marine Drive. They will now go to Norgate Elementary instead of Capilano.

In the case of Lynn Valley/Eastview, students who live in an area near Fromme Road and East 27th Street, including Whiteley Court, with Kirkstone Park to the south and Lynn Valley Road to the northwest, will now go to Eastview.

Students already attending Capilano or Lynn Valley will be allowed to stay there, as will any of their siblings.

Some parents who live in neighbourhoods on the west side of Capilano Road are not happy about the changes. They told the school district in June that Pemberton Heights – not Norgate – is their local neighbourhood. One father said his family had even moved into the area so his two pre-school aged kids would eventually be able to attend Capilano Elementary.

According to the school district, families can still apply to have their kids attend the school of their choice, but whether they get in will depend on enrolment numbers and how full classes are in their children’s particular grade.

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