British Columbia

Vancouver mom upset over kindergarten registration process

After applying to five different schools for kindergarten and not getting into any of them, one Vancouver mother is fed up.

Kate Hepburn applied to five different schools for kindergarten

Kate Hepburn (left) and her husband, Lee Medd (centre) are struggling to get their son, Callum, into kindergarten. (CBC News)

After applying for five different schools for kindergarten and not getting into any of them, one Vancouver mother is fed up.

"What was nice about these schools is we know families in the area who go to that school, who could provide some support," said Kate Hepburn. "One of the biggest problems is finding after school care, [for] most families in Vancouver both parents work these getting before and after care is really important." 

Kate Hepburn's son got in to Shaughnessy Elementary, three kilometres away from after-school care. (CBC News)

Hepburn lives along the Cambie Corridor with her husband and two children. The area has more students than spots available and so the VSB is holding draws to pick which students will get in at their neighbourhood school and which students will have to go elsewhere.

There are fewer spots available because of a Supreme Court ruling restoring smaller classes. For kindergarten, that means a reduction from a maximum of 22 children per class, down to 20.

Delay leaves parents scrambling

The kindergarten lottery was delayed until April, while officials went over the details between the province and the B.C. Teachers' Federation regarding class size.

Hepburn's son, Callum, has been registered at his catchment school's (Edith Cavell Elementary School) overflow school, Shaughnessy Elementary School. 

Hepburn said, "We're about three kilometres away [and] a couple of bus rides, don't know any families in the area."

It's now too late for Hepburn to sign Callum up for the child care at Shaughnessy so she will be forced to find him arrangements to get to Douglas Park Community Centre, where she was able to register him for after school for care.

VSB appreciates parents' patience

In a statement, the Vancouver School Board thanked parents for their patience.

It also said, "To maximize the kindergarten intake, VSB has reviewed its school buildings to find as much space as possible to use as enrolling classrooms...Once a space becomes available in a waitlisted student's catchment school, they can chose to take that place or remain in the school they are attending."

For now, Hepburn will continue to push for answers from the Vancouver School Board and for Callum to get into a school closer to home. 


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