can anyone tell me about schools in Vancouver?(8 Posts)
If my family lived in a professional 'middle class' area (where ever that might be), do the majority of people send their kids to the local schools or do you end up having to play the catchment area game? Do a lot of people send their kids to private school there? It's one of the big worries about where we are at the moment as catchment areas are ridiculously small and a catalyst for considering whether to make a big move.
Watching this with interest. Look at the British Ex-Pats Forum for Canada - there is a wealth of information on there...
I'm watching with interest too, as we are Canadian, in the UK, but there is a chance we'll move back to Vancouver. Most people don't send their DC to private schools there (or they didn't when I lived there), and I don't think the catchment areas are anywhere near as tight as they are here (how could they be when population density is so much lower?). But I'd love to hear from people who know the current scene. I know many academics and others, now adults obviously, from Vancouver and only 2 (of many) went to private schools. No one I know from my home city went to private school and in fact the only private school I even knew of, in a city of 1million, was out of town. One thing to think about anywhere in Canada is French immersion. It might not be good to have a school where they do both immersion and English (non-immersion), because that can lead to the more academic children being in French immersion and the others not so academic - had a bad experience with this one year myself!
I'm from Bc, now in the uk but most of my friends from home with dcs just send them to their local schools, its not like here as the standards are generally good across the board unless you choose to live in a very deprived area like the downtown eastside/strathcona. No one i know sends their dcs to a private school unless its for religious reasons, although i know 'traditional'schools are becoming popular- they're schools where the kida wear uniforms and have a core focus on the 'three r's'. Also if you live in a more suburban/rural area often kids are offered a school bus service whhich is what my brother and i did growing u, wish that was more widespread here!!
I'm in Vancouver. Our DS has just started kindy at the oval school 7 mins walk away. It's lovely. You automatically get a place at your catchment area school. They just put on extra classes if it's full. He's in a class of 18. There are 3 classes in his year, each with 18 as the cap is 22.
Generally everyone just goes to their local school. Unless they live on the edge of a catchment or have a school near their grandparents etc that they may want to send their child to. The other reason it might not bf their catchment school is for French immersion which is very popular. Or rigorous reasons.
There is none or little of the stress of getting spaces as there in the uk. At least where I live which is considered a desirable part of metro Vancouver.
Ok so a local school not an oval school. And for religious reasons not rigorous reasons! Silly phone!!
It depends what area of Vancouver you live in. On the West Side, the majority of kids are in public, but a significant number go to the private schools. You should be able to get in to the local catchment school, unless you are looking for a special program. E.g. to get into French immersion it is a lottery (literally) for K and grade 1.
A lot of people start their kids in French immersion right from junior kindergarten. It is a fantastic program, the kids pick it up fast, and it is useful in the long run, especially if you want a higher level/government job in the future.
Each year, as some kids start to struggle, their parents pull them out, and they switch to English. So while you may start off with three classes of 18, by grade six, it is two classes, by grade nine, one class. At least in most places I know of. My dc's have stay in, one in gr.11 now, the other in gr 9.
With the kids being streamed this way, they form quite close bonds, and many friendships carry on from primary, to junior high, and on to high school.
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