Surrey eyes elementary school boundary changes

School district seeking feedback until Nov. 14.

Parents in three neighbourhoods of Surrey have until mid-November to give their input about proposed changes to school boundaries.

The first shift would affect families near J.T. Brown Elementary (12530 60 Ave.), Martha Jane Norris (12928 66A Ave.), and Beaver Creek Elementary (6505 123A Ave.) The proposal is to shift a portion of J.T. Brown’s current catchment so as to split it between Martha Jane and Beaver Creek. The areas affected are those north of 64 Avenue.

The changes, the district says, would help reduce overcrowding at J.T. Brown and make better use of space at the other schools, as well as shorten the distance to school for some kids and reduce the need to cross busy 64 Avenue from the south.

A second suggested change aims to ease crowded conditions and decrease the number of portables at Woodward Hill Elementary (6082 142 St.), by redirecting some students to North Ridge Elementary, near 134 Street and 62 Avenue. The proposal is to move a corner of Woodward’s current catchment south of 64 Avenue and east of King George Boulevard to within North Ridge’s boundaries.

Another, three-part boundary proposal potentially affects four schools in the South Newton/Cloverdale area – A.J. McLellan Elementary, Surrey Centre Elementary, George Greenaway and Martha Currie Elementary.

The first part of the proposal would move a portion of A.J. McLellan’s catchment north of 60 Avenue, between 164 and 168 Streets, to Surrey Centre. The second move would send families living in neighbourhoods between Highway 10 and 60 Avenue and 170 and 175 Streets to George Greenaway instead of Surrey Centre. And a third possible shift would re-direct kids living south of Highway 10 and west of Highway 15 to Martha Currie instead of Surrey Centre.

Again, the reasons for the potential changes are to reduce overcrowding and portables, as well as have children attend schools that are closer, and reduce the need to cross busy streets.

The changes would not affect current students at any of the schools, or their siblings, and they’d be entitled to attend their existing school in future years if desired. New students – either recently moved to the neighbourhoods or those entering kindergarten – would be asked to attend schools in the new catchment areas, if the boundary changes go ahead.

Feedback is being accepted until Nov. 14. Comments can be submitted to school principals, who will forward them to the district.

Any boundary shifts would take affect September 2014. Links to maps and details about the proposals can be found at http://bit.ly/1bDGVYu

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