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Proposed Vancouver school catchment changes triggers petition

(Courtesy change.org petition)

A group of parents in Yaletown have launched a petition after the VSB announced proposed changes to a downtown catchment

Some parents in downtown Vancouver aren't happy their kids will attend another school due to proposed changes by the VSB

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Parents in Yaletown are not happy with plans to change catchment boundaries of one elementary school in their neighbourhood.

One parent has even launched a petition, hoping the Vancouver School Board will not go through with the changes.

Shirley Anthony and her family have lived at their Yaletown home since 2013. Anthony and her husband were looking forward to their eldest daughter attending Elsie Roy elementary, which is adjacent to the Roundhouse Community Centre. Their daughter is already on a wait list to enter kindergarten at the school this September. It’s a school that is overcapacity, and as such, conducts lotteries for spaces in kindergarten.

Anthony is well aware of the capacity problem at Elsie Roy. She was prepared to see her daughter attend Crosstown, about a 20 minute walk away, for one year, until she could try again for a spot in Elsie Roy, a school one block away from their home on Alvin Narod Mews. But if catchment areas are redrawn, her daughter will no longer be able to switch to Elsie Roy.

“We walk by Elsie Roy elementary every day. My daughter always plays at the park right next to Elsie Roy. Many of her friends catchment are going to Elsie Roy,” explains Anthony.

She wonders what went into the school board’s new boundary decisions.

“We are literally a block away from Elsie Roy. There are a bunch of super tall highrise buildings that stretch to Crosstown elementary, yet are included in the Elsie Roy catchment.”

Besides launching an online and paper petition in her neighbourhood, Anthony plans to raise her concerns at a public meeting with the school board this week.

“There is a bigger story here, in that the Vancouver School Board is looking in the wrong place in trying to solve over-capacity. It needs to work with developers that are contributing to densification. Developers should be part of the solution.”

The school board is looking at rejigging boundaries at a number of schools in the downtown, Kitsilano and Mount Pleasant neighbourhoods.

Trustees will vote on the matter June 25.

The last of three public information sessions happens this Tuesday evening, at King George Secondary School.