Many schools in the Surrey school district will again be bursting at the seams when students head back to class in September.
With 1,000 more students expected this fall, including 300 children from Syria, portables will again be in high demand.
Despite a recent announcement by the provincial government to add 2,700 new spaces for Surrey students by 2020, including a much-needed secondary school in Grandview Heights and an elementary school in Clayton North, overcrowding is still an issue.
Currently, the district has 275 portable classroom throughout Surrey – not including modular classrooms, which the Ministry of Education considers permanent space – however the exact numbers needed for overcapacity won’t be known until October.With continued growth in Cloverdale, Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary will have the most portable classrooms of any school in the district with 18, an increase of two over last year.
Both Lord Tweedsmuir and Sullivan Heights Secondaries will also be instituting a cap on the incoming in-catchment enrollment for the 2016-17 school year, along with Sullivan Heights continuing on an extended-day schedule to accommodate extra numbers.
Three other secondary schools will have as many as 11 portables each.
And with additions nearing completion at some sites, portables may be moved from some schools to accommodate over crowding in other locations.
Recent additions of two classrooms at Rosemary Heights Elementary and four classrooms at Morgan Heights Elementary have eliminated the need for portables at those locations.
However, even with the 10-classroom addition at Adams Road Elementary completed, the school will still need four portables.
As the enrollment numbers at Woodward Hill Elementary continue to climb, the South Newton school will see the largest number of portables for an elementary school in the district with 10 portable classrooms expected in September.
In June, the Surrey Board of Education decided to reduce the French Immersion program at Woodward Hill for the 2017-18 school year to help address the overcrowding.
Katzie Elementary will have eight portables and Clayton Elementary will have seven.
To help balance some of the student numbers, catchment boundary changes will also take effect at eight elementary schools for the upcoming year, including Woodward Hill, Goldstone Park, Cambridge, Clayton, Hazelgrove, Katzie, Morgan Creek and Sunnyside Elementaries.
Notable student increases for elementary schools are Katzie, and Sunnyside with 65 and 107 more students respectively.
For secondary schools, enrollment numbers will increase by 48 students at Clayton Heights, 50 students at Lord Tweedsmuir, and 60 students for Panorama Ridge.
Thirty elementary schools will be closed to out-of-catchment enrollment.