North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Policy 605: Admission of Students to School
Print copy
Revised: September 25, 2001
Revised: January 14, 2003
Revised: October 28, 2003
Revised: February 28, 2007
Revised: February 19, 2013


As prescribed in the School Act (Sections 2, 3 and 82), the Board must provide an educational program free of charge to every student of school age, resident in British Columbia and enrolled in an educational program in a school operated by the Board. A student is resident in British Columbia if the student is ordinarily resident in British Columbia and the parent/court appointed guardian of the student is ordinarily resident in British Columbia.
The Superintendent, or designate, shall establish school catchment areas, and review on an annual basis, to ensure that each school has the capacity to accommodate the anticipated enrolment of students in its catchment area. Catchment areas shall be determined after due consideration of all relevant factors, including the accommodation available in the schools, the accessibility of the schools to the students, and the safety of the students in going to and from school. The Board shall be informed of all major changes to school boundaries.
The Superintendent, or designate, shall also establish Administrative Procedures to address issues related to the registration, placement, or transfer of students in schools, in accordance with the provisions of the School Act.
The Board may also provide for the admission of fee-paying students to School District schools. The admission procedures for fee-paying students are described in the final section of this policy.
Student Admission and School Choice are guided by the following principles:
    • The admission process should maximize the number of students able to attend their catchment area school
    • The admission process should enable school and district staffs to plan the allocation of resources in ways that will minimize adjustments to school organizations at the beginning of the school year
    • The admission process should enable the student’s and parent’s ability to choose the school and educational program which best meets the student’s educational needs
    • The admission process should support stability and continuity for students and families
    • Wherever possible, siblings will be admitted to the same school.
Determination of Available Space and Facilities
The Board of Education delegates to the Superintendent, or designate, the decisions whether space and facilities are available in individual schools and educational programs in the School District for purposes of section 74.1of the School Act.  Section 74.1 of the School Act establishes priorities for enrolment to apply if the Board determines that space and facilities are available in a school.
Space and facilities are available in a school for purposes of student choice if there is excess capacity, taking into account:
    • Both physical and instructional resources 
    • Enrolment projections have been made to allow for the accommodation of catchment and non-catchment area students returning from the previous school year 
    • Students enrolling in district programs
    • Students incoming from designated feeder schools
    • Children enrolling in kindergarten who live in the catchment area for the school.
Decisions are to be made in consultation with the principal of the school and will be based on program capacity, including consideration of the following factors:
    • The operating capacity of the school as defined by the Ministry of Education 
    • The level of staff assigned to a school by the district
    • The physical space in which instructional programs operate in the school 
    • The ability of the school to provide the appropriate educational programs for the applicant and other students.
Catchment Areas
The location of the student’s place of residence will determine their catchment area school. The Board document titled “School Catchment Areas” will provide a reference to parents and staff for identification of the school to which a student new to a school should first apply for admission.
Dates for Student Registration and Transfer Requests
Before the 1st of December of each school year, the Superintendent, or designate, will establish and publish registration dates and procedures for the subsequent school year. These registration dates will be in effect for the following groups of students:
    • Students registering for first-time entry to kindergarten programs
    • Students registering who are not currently attending a North Vancouver School District school
    • Students currently attending a North Vancouver School District school who are requesting a transfer to another North Vancouver School District school; e.g., Grade 7 students who would like to attend a secondary school other than their designated feeder school
    • Students applying for a district program for the first time.
The Board may establish different enrolment dates for different grades, educational programs, schools, or categories of applicants. An alternate process will be used for the enrolment of continuing school district children.
Applications received after the date(s) established will be dealt with in accordance with the procedures described below.
Placement of Students in Schools
Registrations received prior to the registration deadline will be placed according to the priority placement criteria.  Effective date of registration is entered when all required documentation has been received.  A registration with in-complete documentation will not be processed until all of the required documents are provided. 
Registrations received following the registration deadline will be placed according to space and facilities availability.  Priorities for students registered after the registration deadline are dependent on available space, facilities, resources, and the appropriate educational program required to meet the student’s needs and the family’s place of residence.

Priority for Placement of Students in English Programs 
Priority 1   In Catchment area 
Priority 2   Out of Catchment area with sibling already attending same school/program 
Priority 3   Out of Catchment 
Priority 4   Out of District.
Priority for Placement of Students in French Immersion (District Programs)  
Priority 1  Siblings of French Immersion students (same program, same school) 
Priority 2  Lottery for the remaining students – classes are filled by lottery order respecting the parents’ 1st and 2nd choices  
Priority 3   Out of District – placed at the end of the process.
In some circumstances, the catchment area school, or the requested school, will not have space, facilities, adequate resources, or appropriate educational programs required to meet the student’s needs. The School District will arrange an alternative placement.
Once placed, it is the responsibility of the principal to arrange for a programming interview for any student and parent for the purpose of assessing the educational needs of the student and the capacity of the school to serve those needs.
Age-Appropriate Placement in an Educational Program
A child of school age who applies for the first time in the School District for admission, and who has previously attended a public school outside the province of British Columbia, or any private school, shall be placed according to the student’s age (age-appropriate placement). If, in the professional judgment of the school principal, a placement other than an age-appropriate placement is suitable, then the principal, in arriving at such a decision, shall consider all available records and test results.
Transfer of Students
Parents may request that their child currently attending a North Vancouver School District school be permitted to attend another school, other than the school the child is currently attending. Such a request will be granted, provided that suitable program, resources, space and facilities are available in the requested school and the Transfer Request Form is submitted prior to the established deadline.
Parents may also request that their child currently attending a North Vancouver School District school be permitted to attend another school, other than the school the child is currently attending, due to a physical move to a new catchment area within the North Vancouver School District.
After a process of consultation, a principal may also initiate a transfer of a student currently attending a North Vancouver School District school to another North Vancouver School District school based upon the principal’s assessment of the best interests of that student and other students in the school.
A parent requesting a transfer for their child must complete and sign a Transfer Request Form. The parent will be asked to state the reasons for the requested transfer. The principal of the school that the child is currently attending may request an interview with the parent and/or the student in order to discuss the requested transfer. The Transfer Request Form once completed must be submitted to the Central Registration office.
In respect to the transfer of continuing school district students to schools within the School District, the School District will make no provision for student transportation between the home and the school.
Admission of Non-Residents of British Columbia
Students who are non-residents of British Columbia do not qualify for funding from the Ministry of Education.  Fees may be charged.
Admission of Non-Canadian Students
The admission of non-Canadian students to Canada, and the specification of privileges associated with such admission, is essentially a Federal responsibility. Admission into a School District school of non-Canadian students who are resident in the School District shall, therefore, be governed by the following provisions:
    • Landed immigrants/permanent residents shall be granted the same educational privileges as a Canadian citizen
    • Admission, for a limited period of time, shall be granted to students of parents who are holding work permits, providing the parent has been lawfully admitted to Canada for temporary residence and is authorized to work for a period of one year or more, and is or will be employed for at least 20 hours per week
    • Admission, for a limited period of time, shall be granted to students of parents who are holding study permits, providing the parent has been lawfully admitted to Canada and is authorized to study for a period of one year or more, and is enrolled in a degree or diploma program at a public post-secondary institution in British Columbia or in a degree program at a private post-secondary institution in British Columbia. Parents may also be enrolled in an English Language Learner (ELL) program of up to one year in duration at an institution that has an Education Quality Assurance Designation (EQA)
    • Admission shall not be granted to other categories of students except in exceptional circumstances. As an example of exceptional circumstances, principals of schools may grant permission to non-Canadian students participating in a recognized international student exchange program to attend for a specified period of time. The Superintendent, or designate, may also provide for temporary admission to non-Canadian students pending a legal determination of the guardianship of a student
    • No written permission shall be provided which would enable a student to obtain a study permit except as required for the exceptional circumstances determined by the Superintendent or for fee-paying students described in the section below
    • These provisions are not intended to enable a person whose primary purpose for coming to British Columbia is to attend a public school and who would normally be charged tuition fees to avoid paying those fees.
Fee-Paying Students
The Superintendent may, consistent with this policy, grant permission to students to apply to the School District as a fee-paying student. There shall be a fee charged to students who are accepted in this capacity.
The following requirements shall govern the admission of fee-paying students:
    • Students must be able to demonstrate that they are able to achieve at a high level in studies taught in the English language
    • Elementary age students (Kindergarten to Grade 7) must reside with their own parent(s) while participating in the School District as a fee-paying student
    • Secondary-age students agree to reside in a residence approved by the School District Program Administrator and the parent(s)
    • Secondary-age students must be able to function effectively in a Canadian cultural environment without the direct supervision of their parents. Responsibility for assessing such abilities rests with a person or screening committee appointed by the Superintendent
    • Prior to enrolment, students must provide evidence that the Government of Canada has issued a Study Permit approving study at a school in Canada
    • The annual fee payable by students shall be determined by the Board and is not refundable
    • The full amount of the annual fee must be received by the School District prior to the Superintendent, or designate, granting final admission approval
    • The Superintendent, or designate, may engage the services of an agency or agencies to assist in the identification of applicants for admission under this regulation and to coordinate arrangements for an approved residence during the student’s enrolment
    • Students and their parent(s) are responsible for transportation between the student’s approved residence and the school
    • Students and their parent(s) must provide proof of adequate medical insurance in advance of the Superintendent granting final admission
    • Students and their parent(s) may be responsible for the cost of any additional fees normally charged by the school in which the student is enrolled
    • Students shall abide by the rules of the Participation Agreement contained in their application and with the rules and behavioral expectations of the school in which they are enrolled. Infractions of these rules shall result in a review of the student’s eligibility to continue in this program
    • The Superintendent, or designate, will determine each student’s age-appropriate placement in a District school and an educational program
    • The School District will provide an orientation program for fee-paying students.
Resource Links
School Act - Province of British Columbia
Catchment Areas and School Sites Map - District of North Vancouver GIS Department, in cooperation with School District No. 44 (North Vancouver)
Designated Feeder Schools - School District No. 44 (North Vancouver)