Many of our clients shop newer communities on the reputation of the school system int he nieghbourhood, every parent wants the best for their kids and a guiding light for many buyers is the promise of a good neighbourhood, with ag great sense of community, backed by a great school system so your family can grow into your new home.
Unfortunately, many buyers presume that the designated school will be the ones that their students attend and that’s simply not the case, schools do have capacity limits and the city of Calgary is consistently encroaching and exceeding these in many of their schools. In recent years, the numbers speak for themselves, enrolment data from the Calgary Board of Education has shown that nearly 20 percent of their schools are at or are over their capacity, in over 226 Calgary Board of Education schools, there are over 40 that are more than 100% filled to capacity, with 14 of them being over 110 percent or higher above capacity, and some schools hitting as high as 125% + capacity.
Fortunately there is a solution, before you go to purchase your next home, give your designated school a call, inquire on their capacity limits and find out if there is room for new students, or whether your kids will have to travel to a different school to receive their educational needs.
When schools are at capacity, according to the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) they refer to a lottery process, and you must fill out the application prior to lottery deadline, students that aren’t chosen in this lottery are then designated to other overflow schools.
In the fall of 2019, the CBE announced that they would partake in an open forum session to discuss opportunities for improvement and balancing as they are seeing many high schools with unbalanced capacities, from schools ranging at 50-85% capacity while others having capacity exceeding and nearing the 150% mark. Some experts have stated that the cause for this could be the offerings of the schools themselves, with no schools in the north east of Calgary offering Spanish bilingual programs while the northwest has three different schools with a Spanish bilingual program offering.
In any case, this is all to common in many growing cities, for example our friends in Edmonton are experiencing similar capacity issues with four high schools being considered to be over capacity while over half of the other schools are above 90% capacity or more and the city is expected to hit 100%+ capacity across the board by 2022 without additional high school additions to the city.
What are your thoughts? Do our public education boards need more funding from the government to assist in our cities growing needs for proper capacity in classrooms providing more classrooms and schools, or do you believe that our cities educational board needs to work on a better balance across the city to ensure that students are in their designated schools based on their geographic locations? We'd love to hear your input, experiences, and thoughts on the matter below!