Aberdeen / Pacific Way

Aberdeen Elementary / Pacific Way Elementary Catchment Boundary Change Public Consultation

The Board of Education of School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) is considering a catchment boundary change is being considered for Aberdeen Elementary and Pacific Way Elementary for Sept. 2022.

The southwest sector of the City of Kamloops is expected to experience the highest amount of growth in both the near and the long-term. To manage enrolment levels, District staff is recommending to the Board of Education that a change be made to catchment areas for Pacific Way and Aberdeen Elementary schools.

The catchment change would shift the area encompassing Bentall, Talbot, Willowbrae, Raeburn, Galbraith and Telford from Pacific Way Elementary to the Aberdeen Elementary catchment area (see catchment map, below).

A period of public consultation is now underway. It began Apr.13, 2021, and it will close on Jun. 4, 2021. 

A public meeting was held on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, and livestreamed on our Facebook and YouTube channels, to discuss this proposed catchment change (see the recording posted below).

The District slide presentation shown during this meeting is also posted below, and here:

Aberdeen / Pacific Way Presentation

For more information, check the FAQ posted on this page. If you have a question to add to the FAQ, please email facility input. Public comments are also posted to this page. 

The Chair and Trustees of the Board of Education will consider public input received before Jun. 4, 2021, before making their decision, at the regular Board of Education meeting on June 14, 2021.


Aberdeen / Pacific Way Livestream – April 27, 2021

Aberdeen / Pacific Way Presentation

Comments (as submitted)
Bryce C. 

Pacific Way & Aberdeen should be going to the same high school. Transportation logistics alone just make sense.

Additionally, because of the school catchments, there has been considerable transit changes that are and will continue to degrade transit options for citizens (mainly Laurier and Garymede), things like community connection need to be taken into account too, not just school enrollment. The lost of walkable transit to Laurier and Garymede will have serious impacts on university and working citizens. Especially critical when society is trying to encourage transit over vehicle transport.

Part 2) Regarding Pacific Way Elementary. When this school was approved and built, it was done so with future expansion. Why hasn't the district initiated this expansion yet? (see Q.15)

There's no reason why PacWay should have portables. Why hasn't this been done and when will it be done.

Philip C

Thank you for the chance to have some input on this matter.

I have significant concerns about the proposed catchment change for Pacific Way.  I feel that it is unfair to divide a school at this point in time. While I understand the reasoning behind the need for a catchment change, I feel strongly that students who live on the streets in question (Willowbrae, Raeburn, Bentall, Talbot, Galbraith, and Telford) and who already attend Pacific Way should be grandfathered in. Given the circumstances that everyone has been navigating over the past 12 months with Covid- 19 I believe that it would be detrimental to the mental health and well-being of students at this time. I think that it would be wise to grandfather those students in and then have any new enrolments from within the area in question attend Aberdeen Elementary in the future.
Thank you for your consideration.

Sandra M

I do not see any information about 'out of catchment area' students who currently attend Pacific Way.  Would these students be exempt? (see Q.6)

For example, would a student who currently attends Pacific Way, but has an address in Summit be exempt from the catchment change?

Is the district just looking to remove students on the selected streets? (see Q.5)

Jeff W
I was wondering why Dunrobin Drive and Dunrobin place were not put into the Aberdeen catchment?  Distance wise and placement of the new catchment that this was part of the Aberdeen catchment (see Q.11)
Kristen S
What would the proposed solution be for childcare. My children were on a wait list for 2.5 years to obtain before and after school care. Our current daycare does not do before and after school pick up to Aberdeen Elementary therefore leaving us in an impossible situation. (see Q.13)
Christa P. 

Would existing students be required to change schools, or only new enrollments (i.e. would students currently attending Pacific Way be given the option to stay there). (see Q.5)

While I understand the need to balance enrollment, I'm very concerned the impact on kids who've already had a rough year with the pandemic.  Personally, we've moved to Kamloops in the last year and it took our son the first five months of school to really settle into a new friend network, and I'm really struggling with the thought of asking him to change schools for another year in a row.

 Kraig M. 

I thank the district for providing the public with such detailed information regarding student enrollment (both current and projected), as well as maps detailing current and proposed school catchments.

The current and proposed revised catchments between Aberdeen Elementary and Pacific Way Elementary schools are confusing and arbitrary, with neighbours attending different high schools.

I propose that instead of redirecting students from Dufferin Elementary to SKSS from Sa-Hali Secondary, that instead this be done with students from Pacific Way Elementary.

This would make for cleaner, more clear-cut, and logical high school catchment boundaries, with Aberdeen attending SKSS and Dufferin attending Sa-Hali.

Also, I propose redirecting students from Beattie Elementary to Sa-Hali Secondary from SKSS. Students from Beattie elementary traditionally attended Sa-Hali Secondary, and many of them live within walking distance of this school.

With Dufferin Elementary remaining at Sa-Hali Secondary, Pacific Way Elementary redirecting to SKSS, and Beattie Elementary redirecting to Sa-Hali Secondary, the projected enrollments for the two high schools are very similar to the current proposed changes in 2022 and 2030:

Sa-Hali Secondary would be at 960 students (132%) in 2022 (current proposal is 907 students, 125%) and 1084 students (150%) in 2030 (current proposal is 1101 students, 152%).

SKSS would be at 1032 students (106%) in 2022 (current proposal is 1085 students, 111%) and 1212 students (125%) in 2030 (current proposal is 1195 students, 123%).

Thank you for the opportunity to provide this feedback. I would be happy to discuss in more detail should it be of interest, and would welcome feedback from the district regarding the above proposal.

Darren G.

Thank you for including the public in this consultation.

I understand the need for a catchment shift due to growth in the area.

It is a known fact among the Pacific Way parents that a significant number of students, who attend Pacific Way, are currently from out of catchment.  It seems unfair to penalize the remaining streets in Pacific Way before removing those students.  Could consideration not be given to grandfather those students of the remaining Pacific Way streets before imposing the change? (see Q.6) After, it would be fair that all new students of those streets register at Aberdeen Elementary.

With COVID restrictions likely still in place, I worry about the mental health of the students from those streets.  They have built a community of friends at Pacific Way.

Since we aren't worrying about filling a whole school, just adding a few portables, please consider the suggestion.

Jeff W. 

1) Hello, I see it say this would be taking in effect in Sept 2022, so would that be this coming up September (2021) or would it be the following year (2022) (see Q.7)

2) I was wondering why Dunrobin dr and place was not put into the Aberdeen catchment?  Distance wise and placement of the new catchment that this was part of the Aberdeen catchment (See map) (see Q.11)

Philip C. 

Thank you for the chance to have some input on this matter.

I have significant concerns about the proposed catchment change for Pacific Way.  I feel that it is unfair to divide a school at this point in time. While I understand the reasoning behind the need for a catchment change, I feel strongly that students who live on the streets in question (Willowbrae, Raeburn, Bentall, Talbot, Galbraith, and Telford) and who already attend Pacific Way should be grandfathered in. Given the circumstances that everyone has been navigating over the past 12 months with Covid- 19 I believe that it would be detrimental to the mental health and well being of students at this time. I think that it would be wise to grandfather those students in and then have any new enrolments from within the area in question attend Aberdeen Elementary in the future.

Thank you for your consideration.

Justin B

For me it's more make sense that catchment area boundary is set based on actual communities and major roads. Kids are better not to across those Pacific way and Aberdeen drive. The north east area from the Pacific way / Aberdeen drive roundabout would be a part of the Aberdeen elementry catchment while new proposed area remain in the part of Pacific way.

This area also up and downhill area and it would be too far for the kids in the new Edinburgh area to commute by foot to the Aberdeen Elementary. (See Map)

Kylie R.
I have a concern about this new proposal. My daughter and her friends would be in grade 7 that year. If the catchment changes and current students have to transfer schools, all of her close friends would be changing school but not her. This then would mean they would be going to different high-schools the following year. My daughter and a lot of other students would have to make new friends in her last year of elementry and first year in highschool. This transition is already stressful and not having your close/bestfriends with you can make it even more so. Please consider letting current students stay with their friends that they have been going to school with for many year and starting the new catchment with new students or students/families that would want change schools.
Kristin L.

There is a lot of confusion and mixed information. Would students in the affected area have to reapply to stay at Pacific way? (see Q.8)

Would current pacific way  students automatically have to switch to Aberdeen elementary or are they grandfathered into Pacific way and new enrolling students would attend Aberdeen? (see Q.8)

Ashley K.
I would strongly urge SD73 to consider the mental health of these young students when making these decisions. It has been a very challenging year for many and this kind of disruption and change would only intensify this. I would like to see existing students grandfathered in and new registrations to be redirected to the new catchment areas. The first change to happen should be discontinuing the “school of choice” registration accepted into schools that can already be filled with existing neighborhood students.
Bryan B.
The proposed catchment boundary revisions could significantly affect those relying on child care services for before and after school care. Arrangements will need to be made to move children to new child care provider that serve Aberdeen Way, yet there is a shortage of child care with long wait lists in this area. This change will present uncertainty and stress for families. Potentially, if care cannot be secured, the result is working parents being forced to leave the workforce. This is a real possibility based on the difficulty we encountered finding care in the area, and have heard similar concerns from others in our area. Consideration should be given to providing transfer exemptions for students currently enrolled at Pacific Way who do not have before and after school care, and also for children of Pacific Way employees.
Jenn C.

Will my daughter, who will be going into her sixth year at Pacific Way in September, 2022, really be asked to relocate to a school where she knows no one (none of her friends live in the affected area), to make room for someone who is brand new to the community and has no connections with the school, but lives in the “correct” area? (see Q. 5)

You say parents can apply for a variance, but how many of these will be granted? Are there any guarantees that my daughter will not have to endure this highly disruptive and devastating change following the already devastating experience of COVID? (see Q.9)

Lori W.

My husband and I spent months reachering the schools be for we moved to kamloops and purposly bought our house in the pacificway catchment so my children could attend.  We have donated thousands of dollars in support of fundraisers to that school to get extra resources for the school and I have donated counless hours of volunteering to be able help the school and to get to know the staff and other children to ensure the safety and well being of my kids.

I understand the growth in poputlation but I do not believe it is fair for our kids who have been attending for years not to be grandfathered in and if we apply for a transfer what happens if one child is accepted but the others are not. As for high school if the kids are not already enrolled in the school I can accept the catchment change when the time comes. 

But for those who are already attending Sahali secondary it is just as unfair to not grandfather those kids in as well.For some it will be their senior year. 

I understand changes have to be made but they should not have to effect the kids who already attend pacific way. It take on average 1-3 years to find child care for before and after school pick up and there are alot of parents that will no longer have access to child care if this take place.

There are alot of things to consider than a line on a map. For the future that line might work but for those who might have to live through these changes it will effect our kids social structure, the resourses made available to our kids, daycare, possibly our property values now that we are in a differnt catchment. Please use gandfathering in students when making the decisions.

Joan L.

To my knowledge, there are blue prints for an extension onto Pacific Way Elementary.  While that does cost more money than adding portables, it would save the mental health of the families and children who attend Pacific Way from unnecessary stress.

While other schools in the district are just out of options, it appears like the district could be looking at this as an option for Pacific Way.  We already know that the school is growing, so it would be a positive investment for the school and surrounding area.  Plus students could be grandfathered and the catchment change could still be made.

I fully understand that changes do need to be made, but it seems very unfair to the small amount of families in that area, when that additions could be made.

Pat C.

I am not in favour of the new catchment boundary. I feel there are more viable options.

I worry first of all for the mental well being of the children who are now in jeopardy of losing their friend groups as well as numerous connections within the school.

I am also aware that Pacific Way Elementary was built with plans for a future extension. Given that enrolment is undoubtably going to increase with all of the new development in the area, I feel that SD#73 should stop adding portables in a piece meal attempt to barely meet the needs of new enrolments and instead they should be properly planning for the future and adding on the extension that already exists in blueprint form.

It would make far more sense to do one of two things:

1) Change the new catchment line to where Edinburgh begins
 or

2) Grandfather the small number of students who are affected into Pacific Way.
In light of the current pandemic and all of the stress that students have been under over the past year, it would absolutely not be in anyone's best interest to implement the proposed changes.

Consideration MUST be given to the students in the proposed boundary change.

Alison B.
Please find attached a letter that I have written in opposition of the Pacific Way Elementary catchment change.  Also included is a petition against the new proposed boundary catchment for Pacific Way Elementary. It is signed by over 100 concerned members of our neighborhood.
Lindsay S.

Will the high school catchment for these streets also change? (see Q.18)

We currently live on Telford and will be impacted by this change. I want to ensure that if my daughter must move to Aberdeen elementary that she will then be going to SKSS with her new friends from Aberdeen elementary.

If the elementary catchment changes but the high school catchment doesn’t also change then kids will not be going off to highschool with their elementary friends.

Sebastien F

The following offers a few additional comments to complement my "presentation" during the public consultation Zoom meeting from April 27th.  

I forgot to mention our house (on the cul-de-sac of Willowbrae Crt) is located within 50m from the proposed zoning change, which for our kids makes the difference of walking together to/from school for 10min vs our little one (starting Sept 2022) walking by herself for about 1/2hr to go to Aberdeen. It makes us and her nervous obviously and does not feel right – we are (as the crow flies) closer to PacWay than other houses along Abbyglen, which is not impacted by the proposed change.

  • We chose PacWay for the reputation and the proximity. We believe in a safe, active and healthy lifestyle. Attending PacWay offers that to our kids as they can easily connect to the City trail behind our house and safely walk to school without traffic. They can also easily and safety bike to school. Spending time outside before and after school is healthy and beneficial to our kids as well as any kids.
  • A change to Aberdeen Elementary would create a logistical nightmare to us as walking our biking to school is simply not an option for our kids due to real and significant safety concerns, mostly related to (i) crossing the busy Aberdeen Drive, and (ii) the elevation difference and steep grade from Willowbrae down to Aberdeen Elementary.
  • Please consider offering those kids currently attending PacWay to complete their elementary education at PacWay before activating the Catchment change.
  • Please consider structural expansion of the current PacWay school.

Bryan B. 

Thank you for the presentation tonight. While I appreciate the pressure to share the capacity amongst Pacific Way and Aberdeen Elementary, there were many valid concerns raised that are due to the short timeline for this change. We were presented with only one option, which is not a fair discussion. There are other options that were raised during the meeting and I would like to offer one more.

If I heard correctly, the catchment change affects 80 students who will now transfer to Aberdeen Elementary in 2022. This is approximately 4 portables. An alternative should be considered to transfer only new students to Aberdeen and allow the current Pacific Way students to complete their K-7. The result would be a gradual shift over 5-7 years to the desired state. These 4 portables would need to be distributed between both schools and moved to Aberdeen at 7 years. Are we really considering upsetting the community and students as you heard tonight over 4 portables for 5-7 years while the students complete their education at their existing schools? This seems like an excessive amount of upset for minimal cost.

Jeff W.

To easy the increase in the number of students currently enrolled at Pacific way, has it been concerned for kids currently attending this school but it is not their catchment for them to attend there designated school.

Blair H.

Hi, I listened to the online presentation last night concerning the catchment changes proposed for Pacific Way. I hope that the board realizes that, just because everybody didn't provide input, that there aren't more people concerned with these changes. There are many more of us but we didn't see the need to rehash all of these concerns over and over. My biggest concern is the safety of students going down the stairs from Dunrobin and then crossing one of the busiest streets in Aberdeen to get to school. That staircase is often extremely dangerous in the winter. It will only be a matter of time before a child splits their head open on the stairs. Walking through one catchment to get to another doesn't make sense. The Glenmohr area would make far more sense to be moved as most of those kids would not walk anyway, and if they did, they would be just as close. There are also lots of kids on the north side of Aberdeen drive that are much closer to Aberdeen elementary than kids from the Willowbrae/Telford area. They would not have to negotiate the dangerous stairs or cross such a busy street.

The fact that kids will not be attending school with their neighbors can be stressful to them, along with changing schools part way through.

This is just a small reiteration of concerns brought up last night.

Please reconsider these changes. Most of us in the affected area feel that this is a poorly thought out decision that will have huge affects on our children's education and well being.

Jaimie S

I am curious about the reasoning behind students in Aberdeen going to two different high schools. Would it not make more sense to have all students in Aberdeen, regardless of the elementary school they attend, go to the same high school? Many of these kids are neighbours and yet will never attend school together. Additionally, for many of these students, they will all wait at the same bus stop on Abbeyglen - but there would now be two sets of busses to take kids to two different high schools. Surely it makes more sense for children at other schools (Dufferin, Beattie or even those who live in Pineview) to attend Sahali Secondary, and then bus all of the Aberdeen group to South Kam (which isn't facing the same enrollment pressure; we all know that Aberdeen is going to continue to grow).

My final concern is - if the elementary catchment changes go ahead as planned for Aberdeen, and the secondary catchment remains as it is described here - many of the friend groups at Pac Way will then be separated for the rest of those kids' school careers. They will no longer go to elementary school together and won't even meet up again in high school. I feel this is a really poor decision for kids who live in the same neighborhood, only a street or two apart.

In summary, my suggestion is to make the high school catchment for both Aberdeen and Pac Way elementaries the same. Whether it's Sahali or South Kam, I am not particular (although for capacity, South Kam makes more sense). Please don't separate these neighbours. Please consider a different change to the feeder elementary schools.

Consultation
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is the Board of Education considering a change to the catchment area for Aberdeen and Pacific Way Elementary schools?
According to the City of Kamloops Official Community Plan, the southwest sector is the highest growth area within Kamloops over the near and long-term future.

In order to create consistent and manageable enrolment at the southwest sector schools, a catchment area change will be required for Pacific Way and Aberdeen Elementary Schools.  

2. What would the catchment area change look like?
The catchment area change would shift the area that encompasses Bentall, Talbot, Willowbrae, Raeburn, Galbraith, Telford, including future development, from Pacific Way Elementary catchment to the Aberdeen Elementary School catchment area and provide for balanced enrolment and capacity utilization. 
3. How will the decision be made regarding this catchment change?

A period of public consultation will be held from April 13, 2021 to June 4, 2021. On June 14, 2021, the Board will consider the public input when it makes its decision regarding the catchment boundaries for Aberdeen Elementary and Pacific Way Elementary schools. 

4. How can I ask questions or submit comments during the consultation period?
During that time the public can submit their questions and comments via email to facility input
5. Would existing students be required to change schools, or only new enrolments?

The boundary change would be in effect September 2022. Students already attending Pacific Way or Aberdeen Elementary that are affected by the catchment boundary change can apply to transfer. 

Administrative Procedure 305 School Boundaries and Student Transfer Requests.
(from the AP) 

Each year students and parents will be given notice that commencing on March 1st of each year they may request transfer to another school for the coming school year. Notice shall be publicized in school newsletters and on the School District 73 website. Transfer requests must be submitted in writing to the receiving principal and approved by students’ parents to be considered.

6. Will current out of catchment students already accepted into a particular school be affected?

Administrative Procedure 305 School Boundaries and Student Transfer Requests.
(from the AP) Once a non-catchment area student os accepted into a particular school, that student can remain at that school, with the exception of transfers that fall under section 7.

7. Would this change be taking effect in September 2021 or the following year (2022)?

The boundary changes would be in effect in September 2022, in time for the start of the 2022-23 school year. 

8. Can families of students apply for a transfer to keep their children in the school they prefer to attend?
Students already attending Pacific Way or Aberdeen Elementary that are affected by the catchment boundary change can apply to transfer. 

Administrative Procedure 305 School Boundaries and Student Transfer Requests.
(from the AP) 

Each year students and parents will be given notice that commencing on March 1st of each year they may request transfer to another school for the coming school year. Notice shall be publicized in school newsletters and on the School District 73 website. Transfer requests must be submitted in writing to the receiving principal and approved by students’ parents to be considered.

9. You say parents can apply for a variance (transfer), but how many of these would be granted?
Any transfer would follow our district transfer process, which depends on space as a key consideration. 
10. If a new secondary school is built in Aberdeen, do both Pacific Way and Aberdeen elementary catchments go to the new Aberdeen secondary school?
The anticipated answer is yes, but there is no site confirmed for that school yet.
11. Was it necessary to cut off Bentall Drive? Why were Dunrobin Drive and Dunrobin Place not put into the Aberdeen catchment? Why is the cul-de-sac on Willowbrae included in the catchment change?
A number of factors are considered regarding which neighbourhoods and streets are included in a proposed catchment change, including geography, demographics and numbers of school-aged children living in an area. 
12. How will an increase in traffic at Aberdeen Elementary be addressed? If there are traffic issues, will a traffic light be installed?
The District has a good working relationship with the City of Kamloops. Traffic concerns will be monitored and managed, including the installation of a traffic light if it is required. 
13. What is the District proposal for lack of Daycare spaces?
 The Montessori Daycare currently in place at Aberdeen Elementary will not be impacted. The District mandate includes students in K-7, with some programming to connect with parents of pre-K children. 
14. Has the District considered the period of implementation as well as other avenues to control the student population at Pacific Way?
One focus of the District's 2020 Long Range Facilities Plan is addressing increasing enrolment pressures. As priorities and projects are worked through, tools for managing increasing enrolment pressures include the use of portables and making recommendations for catchment boundary changes.
15. Was expansion considered for Pacific Way Elementary?
The District's 2020 Long Range Facilities Plan (see p. 25) lists two school site acquisitions as priorities in the Aberdeen area - a secondary school site, and an elementary school site. 
 16. Are we going to have to deal with this again in another few years if a school is built in Pineview? 
When the new secondary school and elementary school are built in Aberdeen, they will have their own catchment areas, and this will likely impact the catchment boundaries of other schools. 
17. Have there been discussions with the City about the extension of the road from Aberdeen to Pineview and the school build and how that would again impact catchments?
These discussions will take place as appropriate once the sites for the new schools are acquired. As discussed in Q.12, the District has a good working relationship with the City of Kamloops. 
18. Will the highschool catchments for these streets also change?
The only secondary boundary catchment proposal being considered by the Board of Education at this time is the  Sa-Hali / SKSS public consultation. 

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