School District No. 69 Qualicum
Preparing today’s learners for tomorrow’s world Instruisons nos jeunes pour le monde demain
Facilities Review 2022

The Board of Education of School District No. 69 (Qualicum) invites staff, students, parents/guardians, and community members to provide input on the District Long Term Facility Planning.   

Catchment Area Considerations

​The Board of Education held a Special Board Meeting on Monday, February 28th at 6:00 p.m.  to discuss District catchment boundary changes in response to enrolment pressures at Springwood Elementary School and travel distances to Errington Elementary from Whiskey Creek.  



Facility Review Town Hall Sessions

February 10, 2022 Town Hall
February 10, 2022 Presentation
January 13th, 2022 Town Hall
January 13th, 2022 Presentation

Community Input

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 Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. How is building capacity determined? Does the number of students in a building impact the need for larger halls or common spaces?

    There are two types of capacity as defined by the Ministry of Education – one is nominal capacity and the other is operating capacity. Nominal capacity uses 20 students per class in Kindergarten and 25 students per class in grades 1 through 12 for each learning space present in the school. Operating capacity uses 19 students per class in Kindergarten, and 23.3 students per class in grades 1 through 12. Operating capacity uses numbers that reflect actual ongoing averages and gives a more realistic view into how many students a school might typically hold. 

    There are Ministry guidelines for size of rooms and width of hallways and common spaces that are used during construction but these have changed over the years. Buildings built 50 years ago typically have larger space allotments than buildings built 20 years ago, but more recent guidelines run in between these two extremes. There is not a formula that assesses the school population and size and determines if it crowded or not, but as schools reach or exceed capacity, common spaces will often start to feel busier.

    Current Ministry Guidelines

  • 2. What parts of the building are included in capacity? Does capacity include offices, libraries, MPRs, special education rooms, or counselling offices?

    Only actual learning space is counted when calculating school capacity. It is assumed that all schools need other spaces to conduct business and support learning, which will include meeting rooms, offices, and learning services rooms. While some of these other spaces can at times be used as classrooms to exceed capacity, this option should really only be used as a short-term solution to resolve a classroom shortage. For example, the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) at Springwood is currently being utilized as a classroom, as consultation with school staff determined that to be the least intrusive option to designate as a classroom space for the 2021-22 school year.

    Specialized learning spaces (such as foods rooms and shops) count as classroom space when the Ministry does its capacity audits, but School District 69 does not include these spaces in our current elementary school capacities as presented. These spaces are used as part of the capacity calculation for secondary schools and, when capacity is calculated, it is assumed that the gymnasium will house more than one class at a time. Using specialized spaces as standard classrooms has been used as a means for increasing temporary capacity in our district in the past, and was identified as an option to increase future capacity in the Town Hall presentation.

    The Winchelsea Place site has been used in the past as additional space for Ballenas from time to time, and will continue to be an option should capacity be an issue there. 

  • 3. Can you explain what cross-boundary is and how catchments could be adjusted as a means to solve capacity issues?

    A school district is divided up into catchment areas with boundaries that determine families' home schools according to where they live. All families are expected to register at their home school first, and if they wish to attend another school in the district, then they must submit a cross-boundary application to the district office. Acceptance of the application requires that there is space in classes at the school that they wish to attend within contractual limits and staffing allotments, and that there will continue to be space in the foreseeable future in regard to overall school capacity. Redrawing the boundary lines can redistribute future enrolment to sites where more room exists.

    As an example of the impact of cross-boundary enrolment transfers, if current boundary lines were enforced by retroactively voiding all cross-boundary student application approvals, Springwood would no longer be exceeding capacity. However, a phased approach that does not require students to change schools they are already attending would be prioritized in any change process.

  • 4. Will school staff be consulted in regard to decisions and planning?

    ​We are at the very beginning of a fulsome consultation process. There will be further Town Halls, smaller conversations on more specific topics, and opportunities for focus groups to share ideas. All staff are invited to the larger conversations. Staff who occupy potentially impacted spaces will be invited to the more specific conversations, and our union representatives will have a key role in the process. 

  • 5. What will happen to all the childcare programs that are operating in the unused schools? Also, where will the after-school care programs operate now that the Ministry of Education will be responsible for providing childcare spaces?

    Daycare and before and after school care are currently offered in a number of school sites in our district. The Board has been very supportive of hosting child care opportunities in our schools and that priority remains unchanged.

    We will continue to work with the Ministry as the provincial childcare portfolio becomes their full responsibility. 

  • 6. What was the peak enrolment in SD69? What was the enrolment when Winchelsea Elementary, Parksville Elementary, the former Qualicum Beach Elementary and French Creek Elementary Schools were closed? Where will future enrolment likely peak in SD69?

    SD69 enrolment reached its maximum 1998/1999 at about 5500 students and was at about 4400 in the year prior to reconfiguration, with 4000 residing in our standard schools.

    School District SD69's demographics consultant, Baragar, projects enrolment to peak at 4800 students just a few years from now. Ministry of Education predicts SD69 enrolment will hit its peak at 4600 students.

    Chart with Details