What do we mean by “capacity crisis”?
You may have heard New Westminster Schools is experiencing a capacity crisis. Or maybe the catchment school you were hoping to register your child at couldn’t accommodate your placement request or that school registration may be in a lottery and cited capacity as the reason.
Capacity can mean two things in the context of schools in New Westminster:
- The number of classroom spaces – including portables – has reached the maximum limit allowable on site according to District standards.
- The maximum number of students permitted in each grade level according to the School Act or the District’s collective agreements.
When the school district talks about a capacity crisis, we are referring to classroom spaces. As the city of New Westminster’s population grows, so, too, will the number of students who reside in our community as new families look to register their children in our schools.
We place a high value on play space for students as part of their education and development. Eleven of twelve sites school sites across the District are undersized compared to Ministry area standards. On certain sites, play space has been significantly reduced by portable placements. We don’t believe it is in our students’ best interests to sacrifice what little remaining play space we have left for more portables.