Policy 5119 – Revisions to School Catchment Areas and Student Transfers

At its public meeting on October 26, 2010, the Board of Education reviewed proposed changes to this policy and approved a motion to distribute them to reference groups for input.

Click here to see the draft policy and information about providing input.

The deadline for providing input is January 6, 2011.

December 1: The school district has posted a FAQ on their website about the proposed revisions, the Board’s process, and the error they made in implementing changes to the policy in 2008:  Click here for more information.

This will be discussed at the next DPAC meeting, but in brief, this policy governs how catchment applies to schools for kindergarten registration and student transfers. This policy sets the criteria for how priority is given to students when there is no room in a school, class, or program for a student attempting to register or transfer. Note that the catchment for the English program at dual track is the neighborhood, while the catchment for French, hockey, or Montessori (as choice program examples) is district-wide.

Students registering in Kindergarten, Regular program:

“Students, including those in Kindergarten, are entitled to attend the school serving the geographical catchment area in which they live, except as limited by available space or by actions taken in accordance with the provisions of this policy.”

Students registering in Kindergarten, Choice program:

Access to choice programs at Kindergarten is gained by registration, on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of the geographical area in which a student resides. Access to choice programs at all other grades is gained through the transfer process.  Acceptance in a choice program is dependent on available space and/or program criteria. ”

Student Transfer Process:

“Students who are already registered in a district school who wish to attend a different school are required to apply for a transfer through the transfer process.

If the Board determines that space is available in a school or a program, a student whose transfer application was received by the Board by the date established is entitled to enrol in that school in the following descending order of priority:
6.4.1    The siblings of a student who, in the previous school year, attended the school in question and who will be attending the school in the following year.
6.4.2    school district child.
6.4.3    A non-school district child.

6.5       If two or more students have the same priority category as outlined in Regulation 6.4, priority for entry will be established based upon the date and time of application.”


“5.1 Each school with the exception of choice schools and programs, distance education, continuing education, district alternative programs and provincial resource programs, will have a designated catchment area.  A school with multiple programs will have catchment area for its neighbourhood program.

5.2       The catchment boundary for all choice schools and programs will be the boundaries of the school district.”

Note that the policy does not seem to have any provision to students registering in a choice program from out of district, or give any priority to a student transferring to their catchment school from a non-catchment school. Additionally, no priority is given to students registering in a program who have siblings already at the school.

Also, the policy states: “Students, including those in Kindergarten, are entitled to attend the school serving the geographical catchment area in which they live, except as limited by available space“. There does not seem to be a policy for what happens if a student cannot attend their catchment school because of lack of space.

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