Sa-Hali Secondary / SKSS

Sa-Hali Secondary / South Kamloops Secondary Catchment Boundary Change Approved

The Board of Education of School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) has approved a catchment area change to shift some students from Sa-Hali Secondary to South Kamloops Secondary for Sept. 2022.  

Sa-Hali Secondary is currently operating at 135 per cent capacity, with 7 portables to accommodate students. South Kamloops Secondary is currently operating at 96 per cent capacity. 

A period of public consultation was held from Apr.13, 2021, until  Jun. 4, 2021. 

A public meeting was held on Thursday, April 29, 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: 

Sa-Hali Secondary / SKSS Presentation

For more information, check the FAQ, posted on this page. 

The Chair and Trustees of the Board of Education considered public input received during the period of public consultation before making their decision, at the regular Board of Education meeting on June 14, 2021.

Sa-Hali Secondary / SKSS Livestream – April 29, 2021

Sa-Hali Secondary / SKSS Presentation

Richard C. 
Please see my attached letter which I have additionally submitted to Trustee Small. I would be pleased if you would post my letter as a comment to both the Aberdeen - Pacific Way consultation page, as well as the Sa-Hali - SKSS page to which the comments also directly pertain.
Kim V. 

Will children already attending high school be able to complete their high school career at their current school with their friend group? (see Q. 5) Will a child’s feeder elementary school be a consideration for high school placement or only home address? (see Q. 6)

Paula S.
I have a question- my son specifically wants to take the digital media courses offers at Sa-Hali and not at SKSS. Will their be opportunities for students with a specific course plan to remain at Sa-Hali if they are in the Dufferin area? (see Q. 7)
Mia D.
Will students be grandfathered if they will be entering their final graduating year with Sa-Hali? (see Q. 5)
Leida LW

I wanted to share my concerns with the change of catchment from Sa-Hali to South Kamloops. We go to Dufferin and have 1 child going into grade 8 next year. We live in Cherry Creek and are already making a large commute. Going further is very inconvenient. We have another child who attends Dufferin and will be for 3 more years. What does it look like for bell schedule and bus schedules at South Kamloops?

Will they match up with Dufferin and what does that look like? We will require time enough to drop off and pick up at both Schools daily (morning and afternoon). Or bus both kids home? Please let me know what that looks like? I suggest moving a closer school to South Kamloops as Dufferin has a very large catchment area. Thanks for any info. 

(see Q. 8)

Jeff M.
My older son is currently in Sa-Hali Secondary and my youngest son is in Grade 6 at Dufferin.  Will you allow siblings to stay together at Sa-Hali Secondary.  General feedback, there has to be a more logical elementary school to move that's closer in proximity to South Kamloops Secondary.  My wife works at the clock tower and my boys will probably never use the bus.  I really hope there is some flexibility with this. (see Q. 12)
Corrie H.

If the SD is looking to change the catchment for Aberdeen/Pacway and separate students that have gained established friendships within that area would it not consider having these elementary schools going to the same high school? Why separate The Aberdeen/Pacway community and then separate the Dufferin/pine view communities into different high schools? Let's worry about separating kids from their friends when strong, supportive and comfortable friendships which is what makes high school successful.

Make catchments that make sense!

(see Q. 13)

Alan S.

Thank you for this. My daughter attends Dufferin Elementary and I’d like to put in that I support this proposal. Overcrowding is not helpful in any circumstance, and this proposal would best benefit the learners and staff at both facilities. 

Karla M.

I would like to know if parents may change schools for kids already in the school? Can they request transfer ahead of 2022 and is this grandfathered in? Ie any elementary kids from Dufferin may request transfer to SKSS? (see Q. 14)


Might be time to build a new school? (see Q. 23)

Kathy T.

My daughter was new to the school district in 2020 - a result of a move from the lower mainland last summer.

My daughter is currently a grade 10 student at Sa-Hali Secondary and has been building/fostering new friendships this past school year. It's been a big deal moving schools this late in her schooling journey. I want stability for her and moving her to a new high school yet again in 2021 would be devastating for her.
Will current students be forced to move to SKSS if the catchment area changes? (see Q. 5)

We are Tobiano residents and taking a longer bus ride will also be an impact to her busy life.

I would have significant concerns for my daughter's mental health and happiness if she is forced to make new friends again in a new high school later this year as what is best for her at this point is continuity.
Will current Sa-Hali Secondary students have choices? (see Q. 5

Brigitte W.

We live off of Bentall Drive and are affected by this change.  To start, I understand that there is overcrowding in schools and that adjustments need to be made for future.  However, it is very important for youth to remain with their peer group in their teen years where bonds have already been established with their peers.  It would\could be detrimental for youth to have such a change mid way through their highschool career.  My questions are:

  • Why is the board not making the decision to re-direct "new\incoming" students to the new catchment highschool as of a certain date rather than forcing current students to move schools?  This would keep current youth and parents happy by remaining in schools with established friends and routines. (see Q. 15)
  • If the overcrowding is such an issue now, why is the board planning to make the change in 2022 rather than September 2021? (see Q. 16)
  • Will youth currently attending Sa-Hali highschool be grandfathered to remain at this highschool with their peer group? (see Q. 5)
  • If youth are not grandfathered, what criteria needs to be met to apply for an exemption to remain at their current highschool? (see Q. 5 and Q. 17)
  • What is a parent's recourse\options with regards to your decision? (see Q. 17)

J. Murphy

I realize it is really a no-win situation as the city continues to grow. It’s just kind of frustrating because I can see how you are trying to plan things out but it’s just so hard to plan 10 years out. When we look at real estate and what is happening around Kamloops right now it’s pretty crazy. I look forward to seeing when an Aberdeen Secondary can come along because it just seems like every few years we are moving students around and masking the problem. But I realize it’s a tough situation. 


  • The original LRFP plan said no portables for SKSS. Assuming the catchment change occurs, we will be over 100 per cent capacity for the foreseeable future.
  • We understand the need to add portables. It does not seem likely we will get the schools we need soon. There is a need for better planning so our kids will still have places to play on a field.
  • Currently the ratio between what we ask for and what we get from the Ministry of Education does not seem great.
  • Portables do not address the lack of places to go to the bathroom.
  • If the Board decided to re-direct new students, rather than forcing current students to move schools, this would keep current youth and parents happy by remaining in schools with established friends and routines.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is the Board of Education considering a change to the catchment area for Sa-Hali Secondary and South Kamloops Secondary schools?
Sa-Hali Secondary is operating at 135 per cent capacity and has 7 portables to accommodate its current enrolment. A catchment area change will be required for the school to remain within reasonable utilization capacity. South Kamloops Secondary is operating at 96 per cent capacity utilization and has space to facilitate a catchment area change.  
2. What would the catchment area change look like?
A catchment area change redirecting some students from Sa-Hali Secondary to South Kamloops Secondary will provide more balanced operational capacity.  
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 Sa-Hali Secondary and South Kamloops Secondary schools. 
4. How can I ask questions or submit comments during the consultation period?
You can submit your questions and comments via email to facility input. The consultation period will be open until June 4, 2021. 
5. Will children already attending high school be able to complete their high school career at their current school with their friend group?

Students already attending a high school that are affected by the catchment boundary change can finish their studies at that high school. New students entering grade 8 with siblings already in the high school can attend the same high school as their sibling.

6. Does a student's feeder elementary school determine high school or home address?

If a student is attending an out of catchment elementary school, for example a student from Brocklehurst is attending Dufferin, when the student completes their elementary program they return to the catchment area determined by their home address for their secondary program, or in the case of Brocklehurst, to Brock Middle School. 

7. A student specifically wants to take the digital media courses offer at Sa-Hali and not at SKSS. Will there be opportunities for students with a specific course plan to remain at Sa-Hali if they are in the Dufferin area?

This depends.

The Digital Arts and Technology Academy (DATA) formerly known as Digipen is a district program.  Students must apply to enroll to enter the program regardless of their catchment area school. If accepted, students attend the DATA program for one semester, then return to their catchment area school. Students do not remain at Sa-Hali Secondary once the program concludes if their catchment area school is not Sa-Hali Secondary.

If the course is a school-based course offering, such as Digital Media 11, these courses are not district program courses and are offered to students in their catchment area school, based upon interest and availability. Students are not permitted to transfer to another catchment area school to take a particular course. 

8. Will the bell schedule and bus schedule at South Kamloops match up with Dufferin? We will have enough time to drop off and pick up at both schools daily (morning and afternoon). Or bus both kids home?

Both schools start at approximately the same time (8:30 and 835 AM), but have different dismissal times, with Dufferin at 2:30 PM and SKSS at 3 PM. 

We currently have two buses that come from Cherry Creek to Dufferin Elementary.  The bus that starts out at Tobiano drops off at Dufferin at 7:57 AM then carries onto SKSS and drops off at 8:18 AM. This bus then picks up at SKSS at 3:08 PM and at 3:28 PM at Dufferin Elementary.

The bus that starts off on Gardi Rd in Cherry Creek drops off Dufferin at 7:47 AM then it goes to Pineview Valley to pick up high school students & drops them off at Sa-Hali Secondary at 8:20 AM. This bus then picks up at Sa-Hali Secondary at 3:00 PM and at 3:30 PM at Dufferin Elementary.

9. Will the high school catchment for these streets also change?

Students from Aberdeen Elementary will attend SKSS, while students from Pacific Way will attend Sa-Hali Secondary.

10. What is the history of this catchment? 

In 2002, when we projected our enrolments, the district had experienced over 20 years of enrolment decline and predicted correctly that there would be about 14,000 students by 2014. A decision by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2017 around class size and composition meant an immediate addition of 98 additional teachers to the district, 90 of those to be additional classroom teachers.

This meant the district needed to add 90 additional classrooms. This meant all existing accessible space was put into use. It also contributed to the pressures we are now seeing in our schools as enrolment numbers increase.

If left unchecked, the capacity at Sa-Hali will grow to 200 per cent. These pressures also exist in elementary schools in the area. When we look at catchment changes our goal is to balance the numbers to try to take some pressure away from Sa-Hali Secondary because we believe that the level of overcapacity is untenable.

Because there is some capacity at SKSS, the goal is to even the numbers out by re-directing students from Dufferin Elementary to SKSS. 

11. What alternatives to this has the District considered? 
An addition to Sa-Hali Secondary has been contemplated, but as the city grows it has been determined that this addition is not the right long-term solution. A new secondary school is being planned for Aberdeen, however, the funding for this school depends on the Ministry of Education. 
12. My older son is at Sa-Hali Secondary currently, and my younger son is at Dufferin. Will you allow siblings to stay together at Sa-Hali Secondary? 
Yes. Families will be accommodated as siblings go through the system so they will attend the same schools.
13.  If you are changing the catchment for Aberdeen and PacWay, and for Dufferin/Pineview, why separate them again into different high schools? 

Pacific Way students and Dufferin students attend Sa-Hali Secondary. The current catchment high school for Aberdeen Elementary is SKSS. Students from the Pineview neighbourhood attend McGowan Park Elementary, which feeds into Sa-Hali, but some students in the Pineview neighbourhood also currently attend SKSS.

Catchment changes are being considered to alleviate enrolment pressures at Sa-Hali Secondary. These steps are being taken to manage and address the over-crowding at Sa-Hali Secondary.

 14. If parents want to change schools for their children already registered in school, can they request this transfer ahead of 2022 and is this grandfathered in?
Any transfer would have to follow our district transfer process, which depends on space as a key consideration. 
15. Why is the Board not making the decision to re-direct new and incoming students to the new catchment high school as of a certain date?
This would not address the enrolment pressures expected over the next five years. Revised enrolment projections based on proposed catchments are based on students moving in 2022 and focused on reducing enrolment at Sa-Hali Secondary.

16. Overcrowding is such an issue now, why is the Board planning to make the change in 2022 rather than in September 2021?

We want to give parents and families an opportunity to make the changes and adjustments necessary. We want to ensure we do this carefully and correctly, rather than quickly. 
17. What is a parent’s recourse /options with regards to your decision?
Parents can apply for a transfer, which will depend on space. 
18. Does this catchment boundary change mean the number of additional classrooms and portables for SKSS will change?
There are three portables now at South Kamloops Secondary, without full capacity, and currently there is extra space. If this catchment change is made, we may need to add more portables at South Kamloops Secondary in the future.
19. What other things are being considered besides adding portables?
Boundary and catchment changes are being considered in addition to adding portables to reduce enrolment in schools experiencing enrolment pressures. 
20. Is there any thinking outside the box, like taking over existing buildings and turning them into schools?
Schools have specific needs including gyms, washrooms, music and computer rooms, shops, and food services.
21. What is the current success rate for build requests to the Ministry of Education? 
We have a new school coming for Parkcrest Elementary, and an addition at Valleyview Secondary is currently being built. 

22. When do you expect the new school in Aberdeen? In Pineview? A new secondary school in Aberdeen?

We rely on the Ministry of Education to provide funding for these projects. Aberdeen is our third priority for new schools. Our current estimate is that it will take three years for approval and five years for the design, tender and construction process.
23. Will there be a rebuild of SKSS as one of the oldest schools in the district? Is it time to build a new school?
A plan for SKSS is part of the capital plan we have submitted to the Ministry of Education. There are several schools in the city's southwest sector that are on the current capital plan. See page 25 of the Long-Range Facilities Report
24. Will teachers move with students? 
Teaching positions will be posted and filled according to language in the collective agreement. This means there may not be the same teachers at the schools. 
25. How does the district plan to address increased student numbers with the need for additional washroom facilities?
This is one reason it is important to address catchment areas. Current enrolment levels will exceed what the facility can provide.
26. What does 105 per cent in 10 years out mean in numbers district-wide?
It means that as a district, on average, we would be exceeding our capacity by 5 per cent, including small rural schools where there are currently no enrolment pressures. 
27. You said five years for Pineview. Is that before it opens its doors, or five years before an announcement?
We hope to get approval from the Ministry of Education for a new school at Pineview soon, and to open doors to students five years from now. 
28. Have you given any thought to two-story portables to save field space, parking lots, basketball courts and play areas?
The issue is not so much building up or out, it is what the school facility is able to accommodate. Portables do not have washrooms, for instance, so we would need to consider the capacity of the school in terms of things like existing washrooms, gym space for all students and lockers.

For example, Sa-Hali Secondary’s capacity is 720 students. There will be 1137 students attending Sa-Hali Secondary in five years if we do nothing to adjust catchments.

Two-story portables also present accessibility issues for students and staff, with ramps and stairs, so we have not considered this option.  

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