Our Schools - Catchment review: McBride & Howay

Catchment review of McBride and Howay

New Westminster Schools is proposing a boundary change that will impact F.W. Howay and Richard McBride Elementary Schools.


  • Currently, F.W. Howay is operating at 75% capacity with enrolment projections illustrating the school will continue to operate under capacity for the next 10-15 years.
  • Conversely, Richard McBride Elementary School is operating at 90% operating capacity and can primarily accommodate in-catchment students only. Our enrolment projections within our Long-Range Facilities Plan demonstrate enrolment will continue to increase for the next 10-15 years.

As per Administrative Procedure 300, the Board of Education endorses the use of school catchment area boundaries as part of how we ensure efficient use of all facilities … all part of how we meet the educational needs of the children of New Westminster. These boundaries may be adjusted from time to time in light of changing demographic patterns. The Board authorizes the Superintendent or designate to make such adjustments. However, the Board believes such changes should not impact families living in the affected area who already have children enrolled in the schools being reviewed.


Visualizing the proposed change and projected effect on both schools

The shaded area above in blue is the proposed boundary change which would become part of the F.W. Howay catchment. This area is approximately equal proximity to Richard McBride and F.W. Howay.

Please note the red lines are the existing catchment boundaries.

The above chart shows the year over year projected enrollment at McBride if the proposed change is made.

For the purpose of both the above and below tables:
IC = In catchment
OC = Out-of-catchment
DP = District programs (International and Montessori student)

The above chart shows the year over year projected enrollment at Howay if the proposed change is made.


Frequently asked questions

  1. When will the proposed change come into effect?
    If approved by the Board, the proposed catchment area changes come into effect for the 2021/2022 school year.
  2. What if my child is already enrolled at McBride, but I live within the zone that may become part of the Howay catchment? 
    The catchment area changes will be phased in and will not impact current students, along with their younger siblings. Enrolled students can stay at their current school, with a legacy option for younger siblings where parents can choose which of the two schools they’d like to enroll younger siblings at.
  3. Has the school district considered other boundary scenarios?
    Yes, several boundary scenarios were considered, however, they did not support both maximizing capacity at F.W. Howay School and decreasing capacity at Richard McBride Elementary School.
  4. What if my child is currently attending Richard McBride Elementary and I wish to enroll my child in an entirely different school within the district? 
    Families may apply for an out-of-catchment school placement for their children, in accordance with our registration procedures (Administrative Procedure 300).


Feedback and consultation

Parent, student and staff feedback is an important part of this review process. And before finalizing any recommendations or decisions, we want to hear from you.

You can provide your feedback in one of two ways:

  1. Participate in one of the two, community specific forums we’ll be hosting
  2. Or use the below form to submit written feedback

Community forums

Howay Community Consultation: Catchment change
When: Tuesday January 19th, 2021 @ 7pm
(Held via Zoom meetings)

Richard McBride Community Consultation: Catchment Change
Wednesday January 20th, 2021 @ 7pm
(Held via Zoom meetings)

For those who couldn’t attend one of the consultations, comments were collected via an online form on this page as well. Those responses and questions will be added into the considerations and final decision.

Thanks for your interest and taking your time to learn more and participate in the discussions!

(The deadline for feedback closed Friday January 22, 2021 at 4pm.)

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