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Enrolling Your Child in a School Outside of Catchment

When trying to get your child into a particular school, your first port of call should be living in the appropriate catchment area.

But what if you’re already settled somewhere else? Some parents may still have the need to enroll their children into a specific school.

Siblings and Daycare

You’ll find it easier to get into a given school if your child has a sibling who also attends.

Nobody wants to fight through traffic to drive kids to two different schools, and thankfully this is generally seen as an important factor. If your child has enrolled in childcare within the catchment area that can help when applying for elementary schools.

Other categories of people who are considered, according to the Vancouver School Board, are students living in the district, and British Columbia residents who don’t reside in the Vancouver district.

School Categories

Schools are commonly put into categories, as a Richmond School District document shows.

As explained, Category A schools in Richmond are the most oversubscribed, and Category C the least. Therefore schools put into Category A are likely to restrict siblings from elsewhere, as well as international students being enrolled – while Category C schools tend to be more accepting.

Richmond School District publicly lists the schools which sit in the three categories, so depending on your district it’s worth looking to see where you stand with your chosen school. Schools often deny cross-boundary enrollment due to overcrowding.

How to Apply

When looking to get your child into a school you firstly have to register at your normal catchment area before submitting a cross boundary application.

The Surrey School District website details how you’ll be required to submit documentation like a birth certificate, passport, proof of guardianship, proof of citizenship and proof of residence. Then you have to complete a cross boundary application form.

The Vancouver School Board stipulates that applications are accepted between the first school day in February and the last, with the school letting you know of your status by March 31.

See also: Vancouver School Catchments and How They Work

Before applying, it is worth seeing if your chosen school details its cross boundary policy on its website, so you’ve got an idea of how likely it is the child will be accepted.

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