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News: Monday, November 30th, 2015

Board to consider grade reconfiguration at some elementary schools

Board to consider grade reconfiguration at six rural elementary schools

The Board of Education is considering the reconfiguration of remaining grade K-7 elementary schools in the district to K-5. The six elementary schools are: Barrowtown and Upper Sumas on the east side of the district; Aberdeen, Bradner, Mt. Lehman, and Ross on the west side. In addition, the Board will consider realigning the catchment area for Barrowtown and Upper Sumas to be part of the Abbotsford Middle and Secondary school catchments. If approved, this would take effect in the 2016-17 school year. The Board will conduct a consultation process including January public information meetings as well as establish other channels for providing feedback. The Board has tentatively scheduled consideration of the reconfiguration at their regular meeting on February 23, 2016.

The district is currently completing revisions to its Long Term Facility Plan which includes a comprehensive review of school catchment and demographic trends. Secretary-Treasurer Ray Velestuk reported to the Board at the November 24th regular meeting that throughout the review, the inconsistency of elementary school grade configurations (i.e. most elementary schools are grades K-5; some are grades K-7; middle schools are grades 6-8) has been identified as contributing to ongoing capacity and utilization challenges at some elementary and middle schools. In addition, there is an ongoing concern that not all students are benefiting from a full middle school educational experience. Currently, students enrolled in a K-7 school attend three different schools in a three year period: grade 7 at an elementary school, grade 8 at a middle school, then grade 9 at a secondary.