David Thompson Catchment

Westsyde Elementary
We're thinking about re-opening Westsyde Elementary

The board has approved the consultation process to redraw the David Thompson Elementary catchment area and to re-open Westsyde Elementary School in September 2019 as recommended in the Long-Range Facilities Plan.

David Thompson is currently at 125 per cent capacity and is one of the smallest buildings in the district with 400 students. There are challenges in accommodating learning assistance space, interdisciplinary team meeting space and providing regular access to common areas including the library and gymnasium in the school.

The meeting with the parent community was held on Jan. 30, 2019. 

Here are the minutes, a copy of the presentation and here is the transcript of the comments and questions from the community. 


Proposed Catchment Dt
Map of proposed catchment change for David Thompson

We propose that the new catchment boundary would be Pines Springs Road to the west of Westsyde Road, and Overlander Drive on the east of Westsyde Road,  along the back of the homes. Students north of this boundary would attend Westsyde Elementary.

School Catchments are rarely permanent. Each school has a limited capacity and the neighborhood that is serves is constantly changing.

Changing demographics and legislative changes can affect the enrolment of the school. Periodically the Board of Education will review school enrolments relative to catchment areas and make changes where necessary.

The goal of this recommendation is to ensure that each school has an appropriate student enrolment level to maintain quality educational programs supported by appropriate staffing levels.

What do you think about the proposed changes? 

As per Policy 1115.1 the Board of Education of School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) is considering the re-opening of Westsyde Elementary, effective September 2019. 

For those unable to attend the meeting on January 30, 2019 or for those who attended and would like to clarify or expand on comments made during the meeting, please submit comments to facilityinput@sd73.bc.ca Comments and proposals regarding the proposed catchment change and the re-opening of Westsyde Elementary will be collected until February 28, 2019. These comments will be publicly posted on this page. Once the comment period is closed, comments will be collected. Once feedback has been examined, administrators will make a recommendation to the Board regarding the proposed changes at the March 11, 2019 regular scheduled Public Board Meeting. 

Kathleen K.
I would love to see the school re-open. I think this is a great idea, and may even attract families to the area.
Tony A.
I am emailing in concern of my kids in my house hold being split up... (Tony please see the FAQ)
Kimberly L.
I have a few questions. (Kimberly please see the FAQ) ... 
May I just say how happy I am.  Over the last few years at David Thompson I have seen resources cut back and my children suffer because the LART is stretched to thin to be useful.  And the kids almost being stacked to make things work.  The staff and administrators have done the best they can but they were dealing with a situation that makes it impossible to do the best for the kids. This school district is failing kids that are in schools that are over capacity. And from the reports I read on the district website, it is effecting every area of Kamloops.

Thank you. So happy to have Westsyde Elementary open again. 
Wanda C. 

I am not able to attend the meeting tonight but I am so excited for this. We do have one area of concern. We live at the corner of Orcrest and Westsyde road and the big trucks and traffic are barreling through there worse than ever before. You will even notice a cross on the telephone pole adjacent to our home where someone on a motorcycle at extreme speed lost control and crashed into the pole killing him instantly.

I worry about the number of children that would be around that area and the increase in traffic with parent, daycare and school bus drop off. Our suggestion is a flashing light be installed at the corner of Harrington and Westsyde or some sort of speed bump to slow traffic coming from the 2 lane to the 4 lane roadway. I realize a roundabout would probably not be suitable with the large trucks but if it could work would be our first suggestions.

I realize that the roadway from Harrington on would have to become a school zone but I am very very concerned around the children’s safety.

 Adam C.
I have a few concerns about my children attending the westsyde elementary. First of all I would like the school bus pick in the morning to not be so early as I do not want my children at the school 20 minutes before the doors open especially on westsyde rd. That being said I would like a school zone speed limit along westsyde rd. as the school is not set back and fully fenced like Arthur Stevens or DT.
Kim B.
Thank you for the opportunity to attend a town hall meetingtonight to address concerns and answer questions.
I am VERY excited about the possibility of reopening Westsyde Elem.  My husband and I bought our home in 2004 because of the proximity to the school and we were disappointed when it was closed in 2006.  
We have two children (grades 3 and 5) and we are very excited at the possibility of being able to utilize the school that backs on to our street.  No more parking issues!
I have two questions.
Will the Strings program be offered at Westsyde Elementary?  
Will the COK activity guide programs still run in the gymnasium?
I hope the vote on March 11 is a positive one.
Kim Mc
I think re opening the Westsyde Elementary  School will be a wonderful opportunity for the community. 
David Thompson is over capacity and it takes away from all aspects of being a child attending school. 
Aside from academic reasons such as resource rooms taken away, packed class sizes, lack of gym and library time. The time taken away from each child because staff have to learn that many more families and children’s names, backgrounds, abilities etc.
When a school is running within capacity there is more resource rooms, library time, more gym time (much needed). Time  for staff to really get to know families and connect with them, and most important for Children to be average. 
For example... You can make the basketball team if you aren’t the top player and still enjoy the team experiences all children deserve. When schools are over capacity your child has to become better to make such teams, groups, bands etc. 
This is the time for children to be welcomed into these experiences and have room for them to try and to learn and feel confident advancing to Westsyde Secondary School and trying new academics and sports. 
And just maybe with families living not as spread out, children will walk to school more, connect with their neighbours close to them and things may shift back to how they were prior to the closure in 2006. 
I am very much in favour and am excited to hear the school bells ring again followed by the rush of children running outside to play. 
Community is so important and schools are pillars of the community. Let’s make ours the best we can. 

Corey S. 

Hey friends,

Great work on getting Westsyde Elementary back up and running. 

I love the changes that the new school trustees have always made.  Do not be like the last group that set Kamloops Schools back 40 years.   They failed this town.

Any support you need on getting this moving – give me a call.

Jocelyn T. 

You are going to probably receive emails from some Westyde people suggesting that Westyde become middle school. Please do not consider that an idea... it is nice for Westyde to have a good school in our neighbourhood... so please disregard emails asking to change what is a good school 
Thank you
Concerned Westyde citizen

Stacey V.
Hello friends at School District 73,
I just wanted to touch base to send an email of support towards the opening of the Westsyde Elementary. We are so hopeful and excited before the school. My daughter will be the 4th generation in our family to attend this school.
Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.
Best regards,
Stacey V.
Mother of two, ages 4 and 2.

Danica C. 

I spoke with the assistant superintendent yesterday and he said I should voice my comments here to be posted to the website and brought up for discussion to the board. 
I want to suggest having Westsyde Elementary open as a French immersion school or the possibility of it being half and half. There are currently 37 students on the wait list for Lloyd George and South Sahali combined for Kindergarten for September. 
There is currently no French immersion option on this side of town and in my opinion if there was then more families would consider it as they wouldn't have to drive downtown. 
Kamloops population is growing and the demand for French immersion is growing as well. 
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and have them brought to the board.  

Sheila M.

I believe that sd73 should consider opening Westsyde Elementary as a K-3 school, and having David Thompson 4-7
This would save doubling up on resources, and allow a better use of space.
As well, one principal could oversee both, and each could have a vice principal. 
Since the schools are so close together, this would not cause parents undue hardship and maybe even encourage older students within close proximity to ride or walk.

 Sarah M.

Hello, my name is Sarah. Our family moved up from the coast in Sept 2005. Our oldest daughter had the privilege of attending David Thompson elementary for her grade 4-7 years. I can tell you that she benefited from attending DT. Our family experienced a health crisis when she was in grade 6. I can without a doubt tell you that had she not received the support from her teacher, she more than likely would have had an extremely difficult year and subsequent school years. Our middle daughter had similar experiences at DT. Our family yet again experienced traumatic health experiences. She had the support of her teachers and school staff as these health issues continued for our family during her entire time at DT. She was shown compassion, love and support. Our whole family was. Finally our youngest daughter, who had been experiencing the chronic health issues, began kindergarten. Because of her medical treatments, she began school visually & hearing impaired and later on suffered from chronic fatigue. Despite all of these impairments, she continued to thrive, in thanks to the amazing staff and the support our whole family received. David Thompson elementary is more than a school. It's more than just a place of learning. It's a beautiful community, that supports the students and their families. It is a family. Sadly our youngest daughter passed away May 31 2015 while in grade 2. It was a shock to the entire school. The students and staff grieved the loss. They supported each other at such a difficult time. 

I understand the need to re open Westsyde Elementary. DT is over crowded at the moment and I agree with alleviating the stress put on DT. I am asking that the grade 7 class not be separated next year. I believe that they should experience graduation with all of their peers. Many of these students have been together since kindergarten. Many of these students experienced the loss of their classmate. I don't believe they should be split apart. This many seen inconsiquential to the board or maybe it doesn't. The principal at DT in 2015, had a trophy made in our daughter, Krystina Murphy's honor. The trophy is for Inspiration Leader. The grade 7 students know of this trophy and it would mean more that we can fully express, if all of the grade 7 students remained together for next year's grad. This will our daughter's graduation as well. She may not be with us physically but we know that she will be at the grad ceremony cheering on her peers.
Please strongly consider keeping the amazing DT class of 2020 together.
Many thanks
A proud mother of 3 DT students
 Erin F.

I attended the information session on Jan 30 2019 and I am in full support of the decision to re-open the elementary school.

I am happy that the school will see upgraded outside play structure replacement and repaving the cracked asphalt courtyards surrounding the building.
I would like to raise my concern about the quality of the insulation within the attic space above the classrooms on the north side of the facility.  Either the building is poorly insulated or ventilated in that space; I often see ice, melting snow and icicles forming on the north (non-sunny side) of the roof.  
This could pose a safety risk for children playing under these conditions falling from considerable height.  Especially since there are exterior doorways on that side as well.
Now would be an excellent opportunity to remedy this problem before the building is occupied.
Also,is the buildings facility renovation coordinator aware of this?
I want to STRONGLY echo the concerns of many other parents and community members regarding the need to control the speed of traffic along Westsyde road and the need to create a 30 km/h school zone in front of the building.
I personally live along Westsyde road, and I am terrified of my children ever wandering into the front yard, with the vast amount of vehicles travelling well above the posted 60km/h limit.  
With a corner just before the school heading south, there is very little time and distance for a speeding logging truck, gravel truck, pick up truck, SUV, car etc. to avoid a child in an emergency situation like a child wondering onto the roadway.  Even if a childwere to stay along the sidewalk; along Westsyde road I have seen numerous vehicles drive off the road into fences, trees, and near collisions all due to speed and or distraction/ intoxication and driving under poor weather/road conditions.
Does the School District have any plan or solution to reduce the speed limit and control the danger the students will face due to high vehicle speeds?
Thanks for the forum to discuss and ask questions, 
I hope to have my children attend Westsyde elementary in the Fall.
 Julianna H. 
My question isn't related to facilities, it's about enrollment in Westsyde elementary school. Can you please direct me to the appropriate person/department to contact - I have gone through the website, but am unclear who to contact. Alternatively, please feel free to forward this inquiry directly. 
Our son started kindergarten at Arthur Stevenson last year, but our catchment is Westsyde (we are on Sun Valley), so I wanted to know what the enrollment process looks like for us - e.g., if we want to go to Westsyde elementary, do we need to put in a transfer request or will he be automatically be registered due to our catchment? 

Sherrly D.

I have a student at David Thompson who will be going into gr. 7 next year.  If Westsyde is re-opened, she would have to switch schools this fall, and then switch again for grade 8 the following year.  I think this is too much change.  It would be preferable to let gr. 6 students finish their last year at David Thompson for their gr. 7 year rather than making them move twice.  Please give some consideration to having an option for these students finish elementary school at DT.  Thank you.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Can I choose which school my children attend?  

Yes, but subject to district policy.
Policy 300.1 School Boundaries and Transfer Requests.
(from the policy) 4. Application for Transfer Requests a) 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. Such notice shall be publicized in school newsletters and on the School District 73 website.

 Is the timeline to open Westsyde Elementary by September 2019 realistic?
Yes. Our facilities department has carefully estimated the work that needs to be done and has planned the project to start as soon as they can. If the catchment change is approved, our facilities team will work wonders through the summer. 
Can one school be K-3 and the other grades 4 - 7?
That's not a configuration we are considering at this time. We have found that families tend to prefer a K-7 school to avoid having two elementary students in two different schools.  
What about the community groups that currently rent space from the City of Kamloops in Westsyde Elementary?
We have had some preliminary discussions with the City to determine if we can accommodate their existing community groups in the Westsyde Elementary or David Thompson Elementary schools if a decision in made to open Westsyde Elementary.
What considerations are being made for the student pick-up and drop-off area at Westsyde Elementary? 

There is a designated area for student pick-up and drop-off at the front of the school. There is also ample drop off area off of Sage Drive, which is adjacent to the field at the rear of the school. We din't foresee this area to be a conjested as of the 175 students projected to attend Westsyde Elementary next year, 67 will come in on the bus, and the majority of the others are within walking distance, so we expect more children will be walking to school that being dropped off. 

Will the speed limit on Westsyde Road in front of the school be lowered and become a school zone?

We are working with the City of Kamloops Engineering department to reinstate the school zone speed limit for the area. We expect to have an answer by March 11.

Will there be consideration for another crosswalk north of Sicamore across Wessyde Road.?  

We are discussing the need for an additional crosswalk with the City of Kamloops Engineering department.   We expect to have an answer by March 11. 

Is it possible to start with a K-6 Westsyde Elementary, leaving the  grade 7 cohort at DT for their final year in elementary school and then ease that transition into the high school?  

This option is being given careful consideration. No decision has been made at this time

What about the fencing along the school lines? DT has fencing all around it. Will there be additional fencing at Westsyde Elementary? 

The parking lot is not fenced at Westsyde Elementary, but the playfields are fenced from the parking lot. Students will not be permitted to play outside the fenced play area. 

Is there any consideration given to the possibility of doing things as one school? For example, sports teams. 

No details regarding joint activities between the schools have been worked out at this time, but specific arrangements can be made as needed.  

Will the strings program be offered at Westsyde?

The School of the Arts has been made aware of the request and they will follow up with the strings teacher to see about availability. 

Can the school bus pick up time in the morning be later so children are not at the school 20 minutes before the doors open especially on Westsyde Rd.? 

Bus scheduled are synchronized across the district leaving us unable to drop students off later at their schools. The play area where children will gather before school opens is fenced. 

Although we live in the catchment area our child is currently enrolled in a school outside of the catchment. What is the process if we  want them to attend Westsyde elementary? 

For students who live in the Westsyde Elementary catchment area and would like to attend Westsyde Elementary next year, please register at DT as soon as possible  so we can add them to the school numbers for organizational purposes.

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