Roomy Surrey school bucks enrolment trend

There's room for new students in all divisions at Port Kells Elementary School, launching before and after school care plus a pre-school.

One of Surrey’s best kept secrets may not remain that way for much longer. While its closest neighbours are once again at student capacity, cosy Port Kells Elementary has classrooms to spare.

With student enrolment “hovering at 100,” Principal Tess Souder says her school is in a unique situation in Surrey, B.C.’s largest, and fastest-growing school district.

“I live in Cloverdale, and all of the schools in the area are at capacity. Every single classroom and portable is fully loaded, and they have to turn students away. With our school, we have empty classrooms, which is unusual.”

Because of its rural setting at 19076 88 Avenue, Port Kells Elementary has one of the largest catchment areas in the Surrey School District, Souder said.

There is presently room for new students in all divisions.

Monday (Aug. 26), Port Kells Elementary welcomes the public to an open house starting at 6:30 p.m. Parents are invited to tour the school, meet with staff, and get acquainted with the Tiny Toes Learning Centre, opening on Sept. 3, offering before and after school care, and a preschool.

Both programs are new this year.

“It adds a service for parents and also makes the school a vibrant heart of the community,” she said. “That’s the direction we want to go.”

Souder suspects prospective parents may have overlooked the quiet, country school-like atmosphere of Port Kells Elementary, established in 1909, making it the second oldest, still-operating elementary school in Surrey.

It’s set amid heritage trees and boasts acres of grassy play areas, with two playgrounds and plenty of parking.

In the afternoon, there’s no line up as parents picking up their children after school rally their vehicles for position, she adds.

“At our little school, there’s no traffic jam. It’s the complete opposite,” Souder said. “It’s sort of like an old, country school.”

The school’s rural setting means students have enjoyed smaller class sizes, too.

The school has close ties with the surrounding community, with a parent-run pancake breakfast on the last day of classes before Christmas break, and organizations such as the Port Kells volunteer fire department acting as a learning valuable resource for some of the classes.

“It’s just a down-to-earth place. It’s lovely.”

For more, visit surreyschools.ca/schools/portkells and tinytoeslearningcentre.ca.

Just Posted

TONIGHT: Team Canada’s road to the Olympic Games kicks off in South Surrey

Team Canada will play Cuba at 7:30 p.m., Softball City

Young South Surrey soccer player follows dream to England

Hugo Patel Thompson, 13, hopes to one day play for Chelsea

City Dream Centres hands out 1,000 backpacks at back to school event in Surrey

This is the fifth year the charity is hosting the event in the city

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

Most Read