2004 Student Admission & Choice

POLICY NO.:    2004                                         DATE APPROVED:       1980-02

 SUBJECT:        SCHOOL ADMISSION AND SCHOOL CHOICE

 Policy

 Student admission in School District No. 60 (Peace River North) is to be guided by the following principles:

 –        Access to neighbourhood school: The admission process should maximize the number of students able to attend their catchment area school in accordance with their wishes

 –        Choice: The admission process should maximize the student’s and parent’s ability to choose the school and educational program which best meets the student’s educational needs.

 –        Efficient resource allocation: The admission process should enable school and district staffs to plan the allocation of space and instructional resources to best accommodate demand and minimize adjustments required at the beginning of the school year.

 The Board will endeavor to provide programs that meet the interests and needs of district students.

 REGULATIONS

 1.  Definitions

 1.1   “catchment area child” means a person
(a) of school age, and
(b) resident in the catchment area of the school 

1.2 “district choice programs” are programs established with a particular educational focus, offered at specific schools, for which application to the school district must be made. They may have special program entrance criteria and special catchment areas. 

1.3   “feeder schools” and their associated “receiving schools” are as described by the board’s catchment areas, where the class from the highest grade offered by the feeder school would be enrolled the next year in a designated receiving school unless an application for enrolment elsewhere (variance) is accepted, under the district’s enrolment process for continuing students.

 1.4   “non-catchment area child” means a person

(a) of school age,
(b) resident in the school district and
(c) not resident in the catchment area of the school

1.5   “non-school district child” means a person

(a) of school age,
(b) resident in British Columbia, and
(c) not resident in the school district. 

1.6    “parent” includes a guardian of the person appointed by court order or under the will of a deceased parent, and does not include a non-custodial parent. 

1.7   “place of residence”:  For purposes of this policy, a student’s place of residence is deemed to be that of the student’s parent, unless satisfactory evidence is produced that the student’s ordinary place of residence during the school year is elsewhere. 

1.8   “previous school year” means the school year previous to the school year for which the person is applying to enroll in an educational program. 

1.9   “school district child” means a catchment area child, a non-catchment area child or a student from outside the district given special permission to enroll by the Board. 

2.  Determination of Available Space and Facilities

 2.1   For purposes of section 74.1(6) and (7) of the School Act, space and facilities are available in a school to enroll a student or applicant if there is expected, based on reasonable enrolment projections, to be capacity to provide the student or applicant with an educational program appropriate to his or her needs, taking into account physical and educational resources. 

2.2   The board of trustees delegates to the Superintendent of Schools or his or her designate, the decisions whether space and facilities are available in individual schools and educational programs for purposes of section 74.1(6) and (7) of the School Act, in accordance with paragraphs 2.1 and 2.3. 

2.3    Decisions on space and facilities availability will be made in consultation with the principal of the affected school and will be based on program capacity, including consideration of the following factors:

  • the operating capacity of the school as defined by the Ministry of Education
  • staff assigned to a school by the district
  • the physical space in which instructional programs operate in the school
  • the ability of the school to provide appropriate educational programs for the applicant and other students
  • the needs of other programs located in the school
  • the number of students in the classroom. 

2.4   If space and facilities are determined to be available, enrolment in educational programs in the school will be offered in the following priority order, provided that application deadlines and requirements are met:

  • catchment area child who attended the school during the previous school year
  • other catchment area child
    i.    who is a sibling of a child currently enrolled in the school
    ii.   child who has moved into the catchment area but has not yet attended catchment school)
    non-catchment child who has attended the school for three (3) consecutive years is considered to become the equivalent of a catchment area child

    • non-catchment child who attended the school during the previous school year
    • non-catchment area child
    • non-school district child. 

2.5      The School Board reserves the right to alter and adjust catchment areas based on enrollment, facilities, staffing and current resources.  In this event students will be assigned enrollment on the following basis:

catchment area child who attended the school during the previous school year

  • other catchment area child
    i.    who is a sibling of a child currently enrolled in the school
    ii.   child who has moved into the catchment area but has not yet attended catchment school)

non-catchment child who has attended the school for three (3) consecutive years is considered to become the equivalent of a catchment area child

  • non-catchment child who attended the school during the previous school year
  • non-catchment child who has a sibling that attends the school
  • non-catchment area child
  • non-school district child.

 2.6    Waitlists will be established for those not accepted.  These waitlists are to be maintained throughout the school year and parents (in order of registration) will be notified as space becomes available.

 2.7    Re-evaluation of space availability will take place throughout the school year to ensure that the maximum numbers of requests are met at the earliest time possible.

 3.  Tie-breaking

 3.1   When applications made within time have the same priority, priority as between them will be determined by time and date of application.

 4.  Enrolment process for school district children

 4.1  School district children who will be continuing at the same school or the related receiving school without a change of educational program are not required to apply. They will be automatically enrolled in the applicable educational program or school, subject to space availability and to meeting program requirements, unless transferred or withdrawn.  Those applying first in their category will be given priority.

 4.2  Parents of school district children who are applying to transfer from one school in the district to another school in the district or to a different educational program may apply through the school of origin or to the school of choice (variance).

 It is expected that the school receiving the application will forward a copy of the application to the other school that is affected by the application. 

 5.  Dates for Applications to Enroll and Enrolment

 5.1   Before 1st of February in each school year, the board will establish dates for submission of applications to enroll and for enrolment.

The board may establish different dates for different grades, educational programs, schools, or categories of applicant.
Applications to enroll and for enrollment (variance requests) should be submitted by March 15 prior to the pending school year.  The board will give active consideration to the allocation of facility space and staff in an attempt to accommodate these requests.  This consideration is to be complete by May 1 with possible approval of requests at that time.
Those non-approved requests and those requests received after March 15 will be considered on a space available basis on the first Wednesday of  September following the school opening.

6.  Guarantee of educational program

6.1       School district children who apply for enrolment in an educational program will be provided with an educational program in the district, unless a parent of the student consents to a placement outside the school district.

7.  Commitment

7.1   The district process shall encourage students (if of appropriate age) and their parents to jointly consider the student’s educational needs before requesting an assignment to a school other than the current school or the catchment area school.

7.2   Applicants may apply for more than one educational program but may only be enrolled in one. When the applicant is offered and accepts enrolment in an educational program (in or out of the school district), applications for all other programs become invalid.

7.3   The superintendent or designate is authorized to enter into reciprocal agreements with other school districts to review wait lists and enrolment information in order to enforce this policy.

8.  Program Requirements

Applicants for enrolment must meet all program requirements for the requested educational program.

9.  Discretionary Acceptance: Suspended or Expelled Non-School District Children

9.1   Enrolment applications from non-school district children may be refused if the child:

(a) is under suspension from a BC public school or school district, or

(b) has been refused an educational program by a BC public school board under s. 85(3) of the School Act for refusing to comply with the code of conduct and other rules and policies of the board or has failed to apply himself or herself to his or her studies.

9.2   Such applications will be referred to the superintendent or designate for a decision on admission. Admissions may be made subject to terms and conditions.

10. Communication

Application periods and enrolment dates will be communicated to the school communities and to the community at large and may also be communicated to other communities within and outside the school district.

11. Transportation

The board does not provide transportation to accommodate requests to enroll students outside of the appropriate catchment area indicated by the parents address.  Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a space available basis on the board’s regularly scheduled buses.

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