The Surrey school district is calling for parents to provide input on the area catchments for three new schools set to open for the 2013-2014 school year.
The schools are Katzie Elementary (6887 194A St.) , Goldstone Park Elementary (6287 146th St.) and Sunnyside Elementary (2828 159th St.).
According to Laurae McNally, chair of the Surrey Board of Education, the engagement process is standard procedure when a new school is opening in the district, and offers parents a chance to have their say on how far away students should live for a certain school.
"We try and involve the parents in the decision making," said McNally, noting that they also accommodate those wishing to have their child remain in their current school if their catchment changes as a result of the new schools.
"And we try very hard to grandfather kids along. So if kids are already settled in their current school, they can stay there if they choose."
But for the vast majority, the new schools are a chance to help with overcrowding at neighbouring schools, added McNally,
"We try and reduce the overcrowding in the schools wherever we can and get rid of portables wherever we can," she said. "So we try to balance out that growth."
Also up for consideration are the routes children would have to take.
"We also try and not have children in a position where they have to cross major arterial roads, so all of those things come into play," said McNally.
As for a timeline, McNally said the plan is to have all of the logistics finalized by the spring, giving parents plenty of notice for the schools' September openings.
For more information and to provide feedback, go to www.surreyschools.ca.
All three schools will be holding information sessions for parents in the New Year, during which parents can also meet the schools' principals.
© Copyright 2013