School capacity status for the 2024-2025 school year

The formal registration window for new students entering the 2024-2025 school year is open as of November 6, 2023 and will close on January 26, 2024. Student placement decisions based on enrollment demand will take place during this time.

Where we place students in any given school year will depend on the following:

  1. Whether there is room to accommodate students at the school.
  2. Whether we can expand the number of classrooms to support the number of student applications.
  3. Whether we have reached physical space limits at a specific school.


What happens when there is no space left at a school?

  • If a school cannot accommodate students because it is physically out of space (“at full capacity”), it will not accept out-of-catchment applications and transfers. However, exceptions may be made to accommodate siblings if one or more are already enrolled in an out-of-catchment school.
  • If the number of students requesting enrollment at a school exceeds the number of available spaces, we will use a lottery to determine placement. Siblings will be priority.
  • Students unable to secure a spot at their catchment school will be offered a place at the nearest available school in the district.
  • Students unable to secure a spot at their catchment school will also be placed on a waitlist and offered a chance to move if space become available.
  • If a student applies to enroll at a catchment school with no available space outside of the regular registration window, they will be placed on a waiting list and offered a chance to move if space becomes available.

Certain schools in the district consistently receive large numbers of enrollment requests. The following schools may be subject to the lottery system in any given school year:

  • École Qayqayt Elementary
  • Lord Kelvin Elementary
  • Queen Elizabeth Elementary


Note: A school’s capacity status does not impact currently enrolled students or students at specific programs. This status only affects students who are new to the district or those applying for out-of-catchment transfers.

  • Students enrolled in a New Westminster Early French Immersion program will be guaranteed placement in a middle school French Immersion Program when they transition to Grade 6.
  • Students enrolled at their catchment elementary schools will be placed at their catchment middle schools.

Our schools are running out of room

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.

The fact of the matter is, we have more students than space at our schools. 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 the district.

For more information


Contact information

Do you  have enrollment or registration questions? Email our Registration Team or phone them at 604-517-6200.