Toovey Heights students likely to stay at Black Mountain Elementary

School district staff says enrolment impact not worth catchment zone disruption

Toovey Heights parents may have reason to breathe a potential sigh of relief.

Concerns among some of the Kelowna neighbourhood parents that their children will be excluded from the Black Mountain Elementary School catchment area will be addressed at the Central Okanagan Board of Education planning and facilities committee Wednesday.

Staff has recommended the committee retain Toovey Heights in the school catchment zone in passing on its recommendation for the school’s catchment zone to the board of trustees.

This year, the majority of the families in the neighbourhood, accounting for 27 students, currently attend Black Mountain Elementary, and has averaged 20 students each of the last four years.

RELATED: Trustees revisit Kelowna school catchment zones

Currently, the Rutland area has an open catchment philosophy, and most Toovey Heights parents have chosen to register their children in an acknowledged over-capacity Black Mountain school rather than other Rutland schools that are under capacity.

Reasons for excluding Toovey Heights children from Black Mountain included the enrolment imbalance but also acknowledged that more portables will likely be needed at the school regardless of their enrolment, due to the residential growth occurring around Black Mountain which is fueling a higher migration rate of children into the area.

Eileen Sadlowski, secretary-treasurer/CFO for the Central Okanagan School District, said Toovey Heights was the only contentious area within the catchment zone boundary projections.

RELATED: Two schools eyed for enrolment review

She said three formal responses from three Toovey parents were registered during the catchment zone public meeting process.

Sadlowski said the staff recommendation reflected the enrolment reality that additional portables will be needed at Black Mountain and the Toovey Heights student impact won’t change that situation.

“We just felt that to disrupt all of that when portables will be needed anyway, why not just keep the students at that school,” she said.

The planning and facilities committee will meet Wednesday night, 6:30 p.m., at the school district administration office, 1040 Hollywood Rd. South.



barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

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