Katzie Elementary is one of many Surrey schools with portables.

Build schools before new houses

There are few solid solutions to solve Surrey's student overcrowding situation.

I am astonished that our city is not addressing a huge problem.

I hear talk about how our schools are crowded and overloaded. But nothing is being done about it.

It takes such a long time to build a high school, and yet only one is being built right now.

Does your child’s elementary school or high school have even one portable? If there is even one portable at your child’s school, it is overcapacity. And yet the government has rules that say that not only does your child’s school need to be over capacity, every single school around it also needs to be overcapacity.

So here is the answer.

I read the article about how finally the Surrey Public Market area is to be developed, and that they are putting in housing for families, and my first thought it, where will all those kids go to school? As soon as Katzie Elementary was built, it was full. Lord Tweedsmuir is so overcapacity that they have added an extra block so all the kids can get to classes.

I understand that we need to keep business running in our city, but how about getting all those companies building housing to build schools instead? Start putting our children, who are our future, first.

Sharleen Buist, Surrey

 

School programs can’t keep up

Due to the population growth in the Surrey City Centre area, Kwantlen Park Secondary school has become overcrowded. In a recent Surrey school board meeting, relocating a choice program has been proposed as a solution to solve this overcapacity problem.

The proposed choice program to be relocated is called Inter-A. It is a district-wide leadership program helping Grade 8-12 students to develop leadership skills through community engagements and community services.

It is a unique program in B.C.’s education landscape. Over the years, it has attracted many talented students and produced many outstanding young leaders.

Kwantlen Park Secondary is the home to the Inter-A program since the school was built. The school has purposely built classrooms for the program. Its central location makes it possible to serve the whole school district. The program is deeply rooted in this location and its surrounding communities. Relocating it would effectively destroy this vibrant program.

Relocating the Inter-A program won’t help solve the overcrowding issue. The school district’s data shows that the school is overcapacity by 300 students. The Inter-A program has only 180 students.

The majority of them are from the Kwantlen Park catchment area, and have already expressed that they won’t be able to move if the program were to be relocated. Moving out the program would only free a handful of spots – far from resolving the overcapacity problem.

This proposal has made Inter-A a scapegoat for Kwantlen Park’s overcapacity problem.

It distracted people’s attention from investigating and addressing the real issue that is causing the overcapacity problem.

To really resolve the overcapacity problem, the school board needs to find out the root cause, and fix it from the source.

A choice program should not be used as a scapegoat to hide the real cause of the overcapacity problem at Kwantlen Park Secondary school.

A proposal that could cause so much harm with no benefit, and one that won’t help to solve the problem in any way, should be dismissed.

 

Jim Zeng

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