The proposed boundary catchment for Cloverdale elementary, which will return to a regular stream elementary school after 12 years as Cloverdale Traditional School, a district-wide school of choice. (Screenshot from SD61)

SD61 wraps up public consultation on catchment changes with final open house

Proposed catchment boundary changes in Victoria brought hundreds of parents out for discussion

The final open house for the Greater Victoria School District (SD61)’s proposed catchment boundary changes wrapped up on Tuesday night.

More than 120 parents were in attendance at Oak Bay high school for the third and final opportunity for parents to seek in-person information and provide feedback after SD61 unveiled a new proposal for elementary school catchment boundaries.

The proposed boundaries initially fostered a heated discussion, especially for parents using schools of choice including South Park Family School, Cloverdale Traditional School and Victor School, which were originally proposed to be reabsorbed into mainstream schools.

READ MORE: SD61 unveils new proposed catchment areas for Victoria

Sd61 tweaked the format of the final two open houses to include a designated Q&A session after parents were upset with the format on the Feb. 6 meeting at Spectrum Community School.

“It was a very positive meeting overall,” said Mark Walsh, secretary treasurer for SD61.

Common themes among the open houses included maintaining choice school options, addressing transportation issues if catchment boundaries are changed, and making sure schools have equal access to amenities.

READ MORE: Victoria parents want SD61 to ‘start over’ with catchment planning

Parents still have the option to submit feedback online until March 8 at boundaryreviewteam@sd61.bc.ca.

After this, Walsh said staff will compile everything they’ve heard and bring it back in a report to the school board in early April.

ALSO READ: Victor School to remain as specialized education facility

The board will then give staff recommendations in a following meeting, which could require more consultations.

“We are hoping to come to a decision for May, because if people are going to have a different catchment in 2020, many people may have to make decisions about September 2019,” Walsh said. “Ultimately if the board is unable to make a decision in May, the latest we could push it would be November or early December 2019, prior to registration.”

For more information you can visit sd61.bc.ca

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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