Salish Secondary construction at 73 ave and 184 street in Clayton

New Salish Secondary causes catchment change

French immersion program may move from Lord Tweedsmuir

The French Immersion program at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary is set to move to the new Salish Secondary, currently under construction in Clayton Heights and scheduled to open in 2018.

Moving the program, along with some catchment adjustments, is the preferred option of three being considered by the Surrey Board of Education, with a final decision expected at the next board meeting on Nov. 17.

Following a series of community meetings and online public input, the executive committee received the final report and has recommended its preferred choice to the board, along with catchment changes in the Cloverdale area.

The new 1,500-student state-of-the-art Salish Secondary at 7278 184 St. is expected to address some of the overcrowding issues at both Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary and Clayton Heights Secondary, with 24 per cent of the French Immersion students currently living within the Salish Secondary catchment.

In the preferred option, the catchment for Salish Secondary would include Port Kells, Clayton, Adams Road and Hillcrest Elementary schools. Clayton Heights Secondary would see students from Hazelgrove, Katzie, Latimer Road and Sunrise Ridge Elementaries, while students from A.J. McLellan, Surrey Centre, George Greenaway, Cloverdale Traditional, Martha Currie and Don Christian Elementaries would be in the Lord Tweedsmuir catchment.

Through an extensive consultation process, several key issues and concerns regarding boundary changes were brought forward, including the possible reduction in the number of French Immersion students willing to move from Don Christian Elementary due to the increased distance to Salish Secondary, and lack of transit options and undeveloped rural roads and sidewalks around the new secondary school.

In Options Two and Three, Don Christian Elementary would be included in the new Salish Secondary catchment.

Issues of staffing levels, course options and how boundary changes may affect sports teams were also a concern for parents, students and staff surveyed.

The results were presented to the Surrey Board of Education on Sept. 22 and the final decision on which option is most suitable for Surrey students will be made on Nov. 17.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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