SD73 Board of Education Approves Catchment Changes and Grade Configurations for 2024-2025

At the Regular Public Board Meeting on June 19, 2023, the School District No. 73 (Kamloops -Thompson) Board of Education approved grade reconfigurations and catchment changes in the North Shore and Brocklehurst communities. These changes come into effect September 1, 2024 for the 2024-2025 school year, not for September 2023. Although these changes are over a year away we are providing an overview of why the changes are being made, what the changes are and the next steps.

Why did the Board of Education make these changes?

In January 2021, the Board of Education learned that Brocklehurst Middle School was becoming too large in enrolment for a grades 7-9 middle school. We conducted provincial research on middle schools and confirmed that Brocklehurst was in the top 9 middle schools provincially for enrolment. Through consultation with the communities on the North Shore and in Brocklehurst, we have confirmed that Brocklehurst is too large and enrolment projections indicate Brocklehurst will only continue to increase in enrollment. 

What Changes is the Board making to address this issue?

District Administration completed a comprehensive consultation process that included 28 focus groups and 10 Zoom meetings with staff, PACs, and the school communities affected in the North Shore and Brocklehurst communities. District Administration brought forward recommendations to the Board of Education for consideration to resolve the issue of Brocklehurst Middle School having too large an enrolment. 

Grade configurations and catchment changes for the North Shore and Brocklehurst schools,take place for September 1, 2024:

  • George Hilliard Elementary opens as a K-7 school.
  • AE Perry Elementary goes from K-6 to K-7. A catchment boundary change will send some students to George Hilliard Elementary.
  • Arthur Hatton Elementary goes from K-6 to K-7.
  • Bert Edwards Science and Technology School goes from K-6 to K-7.
  • Kay Bingham Elementary goes from K-6 to K-7. A catchment boundary change will send some students to George Hilliard Elementary.
  • Parkcrest Elementary goes from K-6 to K-7. A catchment boundary change will send some students to Kay Bingham elementary.
  • Rayleigh Elementary goes from K-6 to K-7.
  • Brocklehurst Middle School becomes Brocklehurst Secondary School with grades 8-12.
  • Norkam Senior Secondary becomes Norkam Secondary School with grades 8-12.
  • Norkam Secondary School continues to be the designated school for grades 10-12 for Sun Peaks.
  • Sun Peaks School continues to be the designated school for Sun Peaks K-9 students.
  • Twin Rivers Education Centre anticipates the move of the Bridges program by September 2024.

Next Steps

There are no grade reconfigurations and catchment changes for September 2023. 

How do we find out where our children are supposed to attend school in September 2024?

All families who are impacted by the catchment changes and grade reconfigurations will be notified by email in January 2024. If you would like to read and watch videos about the consultations, FAQs, and process followed for consultation click here, and if you want to view the new catchment boundaries on high resolution maps, please go hereIf you have further questions, please contact Dana Heyman.

Milestones
Community Engagement - Proposed Grade Reconfiguration and Catchment Changes of the North Shore and Brocklehurst Fall of 2024

The timeline below provides the milestones of community engagement that have been undertaken with the Brocklehurst staff and Parent Advisory Council, NorKam staff and Parent Advisory Council, TREC staff, and that will be taking place with elementary school staffs and PACs, and with the TREC Parent Advisory Council, and the broader communities of those areas:

2021
Jun. 14, 2021 - Board Report Concerns about Brocklehurst Middle School becoming too large, and the Board supported gathering research on whether Brocklehurst Middle School was too large and what to do to address it.
2022
Dec. 12, 2022 In Camera Board Meeting – shared provincial research of districts with middle schools that were increasing beyond a typical enrolment (500-600) provincially. Brocklehurst Middle School was and continues to be in the top 15% of middle schools provincially (790, 105% capacity utilization in 2028) for size and continues to grow (869, 116% capacity utilization in 2028). 
Jan. 11, 2022 Brocklehurst and NorKam administration – reviewed their experiences of the positives and challenges of their current enrolment and grade configuration. The administration from both schools agreed that the enrolment (792) was too large and suggested alternative grade reconfigurations.
2023
Apr. 27, 2023 Background on the Issue

In the June 14, 2021 Regular Public Board Meeting, when the district had just engaged in necessary catchment changes impacting multiple communities on the South Shore, the Superintendent raised the question about whether Brocklehurst Middle School (Brock) was becoming too large:

The operating capacity for Brocklehurst Middle School is 750 students. It is expected that the enrollment will increase each year and will peak at 936 students by 2028 but will continue to be in a state of overcapacity after that point. In addition, these projected high numbers raise the question of the appropriate school size for students in this age group.

At that board meeting, the Board supported the next step:

A further in-depth study should be undertaken to review enrolments and catchment boundaries on the north shore to determine if there is a reasonable solution to reduce the enrolment at Brocklehurst Middle School.

Research on Middle Schools 

Brocklehurst Middle School is currently in the top 9 BC middle schools provincially for enrolment, and we have consulted with districts that have similar sized middle schools that have advocated to reduce the size through a grade reconfiguration. Given that Brocklehurst Middle School is projected to continue to increase in enrolment, we have confirmed by meeting with the Brocklehurst staff and PAC that it is necessary to reduce the size of the school enrolment by proposing to reconfigure the grades from grades 7-9 to grades 8-12 in September 2024.

Community Engagement Plan

We started by clarifying whether Brocklehurst Middle School staff and parents felt that the school was getting too big. We met with them and then with NorKam Senior Secondary staff and parents to clarify whether the next answer was to plan for a grade reconfiguration from Brocklehurst (gr. 7-9) becoming a grade 8-12 school and NorKam (gr.10-12) school becoming a grade 8-12 school.

We also established a Future Growth Advisory Committee that had representatives (parents, staff, trustees, Indigenous rights holders) to share the feedback gathered and to gain their perspective on our recommendations to the Board of Education.

You will see our journey in community engagement in the Milestones of Community Engagement below. Now, that we have confirmed that a grade reconfiguration is the best solution from those most impacted, you will see how we plan to move beyond the immediate groups of staff and parents to broader community engagement about the proposed grade reconfiguration and necessary catchment area changes as well as the re-opening of George Hilliard facility once Parkcrest Elementary rebuild is completed (Spring 2024).

Mar. 13, 2023 Arthur Hatton and Rayleigh staff: Superintendent Nixon, Assistants Superintendents Reilly and Hamblett, and Director McDonald met with the principals of Arthur Hatton and Bert Edwards and one staff member came from Bert Edwards. This was an additional meeting (i.e., principals had already met with their respective staffs to share information gathered) provided for staff to ask questions and to provide feedback on the proposed grade reconfiguration, catchment changes, and plan for the use of George Hilliard.
Mar. 9-13, 2023 Visit to district locations to consider possibilities to relocating alternative education programming – senior staff and TREC principal visited Brocklehurst Middle School and NorKam Senior Secondary School to review spaces that offered a potential location for alternative education programs.
Mar. 8, 2023 TREC, NorKam, Brock, Westsyde Principals –  senior staff reviewed perspectives on space available in the district and potential for TREC staff and administration to review those spaces with the principal and senior administration to consider programming possibilities.
Mar. 6, 2023 Brocklehurst Middle School Principal – senior staff reviewed the principal’s perspectives on space available in the district and potential for TREC staff and administration to review those spaces with the principal and senior administration to consider programming possibilities.
March 3-6, 2023 Senior staff review a plan to consult with staff at Happyvale about the programming options and needs for space. Director of Facilities reviewed spaces and potential for making changes to support programming. The Superintendent contacts the Director of the Aboriginal Education Council to determine the next to consult Indigenous rights holders on proposed changes with respect to Four Directions and all programming.
Mar. 2, 2023 Twin Rivers Education Centre (TREC) Administration – senior staff met with the school administration and a previous TREC principal to learn more about their perspectives on the needs of the three alternative program students and staff.  
Feb. 28, 2023 Twin Rivers Education Centre Staff – senior staff met with the staff and listened and documented feedback, which expressed concerns regarding their current space for three programs at Happyvale.
Feb. 21, 2023 North Shore, Brocklehurst, Sun Peaks, Rayleigh Elementary and Twin Rivers Education Centre principals - senior staff met with the elementary principals from the North Shore and Brocklehurst and the TREC principal and gathered feedback on the plan.
Feb. 15, 2023 Future Growth Advisory Committee Meeting – senior staff presented information on all feedback with a recommendation that there support exists to reconfigure grades, the answers to questions asked during community engagement, and a proposed plan to get further feedback from the community.
Feb. 6, 2023  In Camera Board of Education – presented feedback from all groups and the next community engagement presentation.
Jan. 23, 2023 In Camera Board of Education – presented feedback from all groups and the next community engagement presentation.
Jan. 19, 2023 NorKam Senior Secondary Parent Advisory Council and Trustee Karpuk – Superintendent Nixon, Assistant Superintendent Hamblett reviewed the provincial research and feedback from all other groups and documented feedback from the NorKam PAC about the potential of a grade reconfiguration. They supported the need to address the challenges through a grade reconfiguration by having Brocklehurst Middle School, currently a grade 7-9 school, to a grade 8-12 school and to have elementary schools, currently K-6 schools, become K-7 schools.
Jan. 18, 2023 NorKam Senior Secondary Staff and Administration – Superintendent Nixon and Assistant Superintendent Hamblett reviewed the provincial research and feedback from all groups and then documented feedback from NorKam staff and administration about the potential of a grade reconfiguration. They supported the need to address the challenges through a grade reconfiguration by having Brocklehurst Middle School, currently a grade 7-9 school, to a grade 8-12 school and to have elementary schools, currently K-6 schools, become K-7 schools.
Jan. 16, 2023 Brocklehurst Parent Advisory Council & District Parent Advisory Council Chair – reviewed the research on middle schools provincially and feedback from Brocklehurst Middle School staff, and then provided feedback about the positives and challenges of the enrolment and projected enrolment of Brocklehurst Middle School. They supported the need to address the challenges through a grade reconfiguration by having Brocklehurst Middle School, currently a grade 7-9 school, to a grade 8-12 school and to have elementary schools, currently K-6 schools, become K-7 schools.
Jan. 10, 2023 Brocklehurst Middle School Staff – reviewed the research on middle schools provincially and provided feedback about the positives and challenges of the enrolment and projected enrolment of Brocklehurst Middle School. They supported the need to address the challenges through a grade reconfiguration by having Brock, currently a grade 7-9 school, become a grade 8-12 school and to have elementary schools, currently K-6 schools, to become K-7 schools.
Jan. 10, 2023 North Shore and Brocklehurst Elementary Principals – reviewed information about the community engagement plan to first engage with Brocklehurst Middle School staff and PAC. 

Contact Us