Lake Country catchment review making its way back to school board for final decision

After Thursday night's final public consultation, two options remain on the table to re-write Lake Country catchments

After months of meetings and feedback, a final decision on new catchment areas for the three Lake Country elementary schools will go to the Central Okanagan School Board in the next two months.

The Central Okanagan School District held a final public consultation Thursday night in Lake Country where two different options for the new catchment areas were presented to the public.

Both options are very similar and would re-direct students living in the SouthWest quadrant of Lake Country (south of Seaton Road and west of the highway) that are currently in the Davidson Road catchment to Peter Greer Elementary. Students in the Woodsdale Flats area would be sent to Oyama Traditional School as opposed to their current catchment of Peter Greer.

The only difference in the two options is a development known as Sage Glen, where just 14 students currently reside. Those students, and any new students in that specific development, are either going to be in the Davidson Road catchment or the Peter Greer area, depending on what the school board decides.

The two options come after eight months of public consultation, including meetings with a focus group that went back and forth between the school board and the local Parent Advisory Committees at each school.

“It’s been a very robust consultation and I think there has been some really good discussion,” said Central Okanagan School District secretary treasurer Larry Paul. “It’s not far off the staff recommendation the last time around but it’s a better fit. The parents have had the opportunity to talk about it and understand the process and realize that this is the best of all the options that are available. This really does limit the immediate disruption for the kids but sets us up for the future.”

Paul said kids that are already enrolled in one school or another will be able to stay in that school as per school board policy. The new catchments will only affect new students entering school. With long range development plans pointing to some 4,000 new homes in the SouthWest quadrant of Lake Country, Paul said that area may eventually need an entire new school, however in the immediate future, kids will be best routed to Peter Greer.

Coincidentally, the SouthWest area of Lake Country was historically in the Peter Greer catchment area. But when Davidson Road had an extension built onto it 20 years ago, kids in that area were sent to Davidson Road to fill the school.

Fast forward to current times and Davidson Road is over-capacity thanks to the increase in development in its catchment area, forcing the district to look into the changes.

The next step for the catchment review is to go to the school district’s planning and facilities meeting before a final decision is made at a public board meeting, either in December or January.