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North Vancouver School District
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Capilano and Norgate

The North Vancouver School District is considering changing the catchment areas for Capilano Elementary School and Norgate Community Elementary School to balance enrolment between the schools. 

Capilano Elementary School is currently operating at 89% capacity. Every area of the school is currently utilized, and the gym, library and music rooms are not meeting the needs of the school. In 2011, the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) was created. In 2015-2016, cross-boundary enrolment was limited at the school. The school can now only accommodate in-catchment students. Enrolment projections demonstrate that enrolment will continue to rise and that by 2025 the school will be operating over capacity and will no longer be able to accommodate all catchment students. Enrolment pressure at Capilano Elementary School needs to be relieved. 

Norgate Community Elementary School is currently operating at 53% capacity. Enrolment projections demonstrate that the school will continue to operate under capacity for the next decade and beyond. 

Current catchment areas
Catchment change option
Capilano_Study Option.jpg
Capilano_Study Option.pdf

​The catchment change option being considered would move a small portion in the south-west section of the current Capilano Elementary School catchment area into the Norgate Community Elementary School catchment area. The area of consideration for the move is located west of Capilano Road between Marine Drive to the south and the Upper Levels Highway to the North. It encompasses Fullerton Ave, Glenaire Dr, Belle Isle Pl, Curling Rd, Sandown Pl, McLallen Crt, and the Woodcroft Residential Complex area. 

Current enrolment and capacity in the Capilano area:

Norgate Community Elementary:

  • Enrolment: 133, Capacity: 251, Capacity percentage: 53%

Capilano Elementary:

  • Enrolment: 427, Capacity: 480, Capacity percentage: 89%

Current catchment areas - Projected enrolment and capacity in the Capilano area:

Norgate Community Elementary:

  • 2021 enrolment: 175, Capacity percentage: 70%
  • 2025 enrolment: 170, Capacity percentage: 68%
  • 2029 enrolment: 165, Capacity percentage: 66%

Capilano Elementary:

  • 2021 enrolment: 455, Capacity percentage: 95%
  • 2025 enrolment: 490, Capacity percentage: 102%
  • 2029 enrolment: 520, Capacity percentage: 108%

Revised catchment areas - Projected enrolment and capacity in the Capilano area:

Norgate Community Elementary:

  • 2021 enrolment: 205, Capacity percentage: 82%
  • 2025 enrolment: 247, Capacity percentage: 99%
  • 2029 enrolment: 247, Capacity percentage: 99%

Capilano Elementary:

  • 2021 enrolment: 415, Capacity percentage: 86%
  • 2025 enrolment: 408, Capacity percentage: 85%
  • 2029 enrolment: 408, Capacity percentage: 85%


To determine potential courses of action for managing capacity pressures in the Capilano area, and the potential impacts of these options on families and staff, the following options were considered.

Considering combined versus single grade classes

There are times when single grade classes are not full, and by combining grades into one class extra classroom space can be made available in a school. 

At Capilano Elementary, combined classes are not in place because of the International Baccalaureate Programme. The IB program includes units of inquiry that are best managed in single grade classes. Combining the units would make the workload untenable for the teacher. Combined grade classes are already in place at Norgate Community Elementary.


Restricting cross-boundary placement

By restricting cross-boundary enrolment, space at schools is reserved for in-catchment students.

Capilano Elementary has restricted cross-boundary enrolment since 2015-2016. Enrolment pressures now exist within the current catchment. Norgate Community Elementary is open to cross-boundary enrolment.


Moving district programs/external program in the school to other schools

If a district program (ex: literacy centre) or external program (ex: daycare) is located at a school and that school now needs more classroom space for catchment students, then the programs can be moved out of that school. 

Capilano Elementary has one external program operating on the property – a before and after school care program run by North Shore Neighbourhood House. This before and after school care program is located in a portable that is not configured to be a classroom. North Shore Neighbourhood House also operates a daycare at Norgate Community Elementary that is located in a modular building owned by North Shore Neighbourhood House; the small parcel of land is leased to them.


Portables and/or renovations

To increase space at a school, renovations can sometimes be done to create more space (ex: changing two large classrooms into three smaller classrooms) or portables can sometimes be installed.

Typically the only rooms left to consider for modification to add classroom space at schools are computer rooms, multipurpose rooms and reducing libraries into half their footprint. To date, across the entire school district no libraries have been modified and only one multipurpose room has been converted into a classroom. At Capilano Elementary, the only opportunity to gain additional class space would be to investigate modifying the library or taking over the multipurpose room. These spaces are already not meeting the needs of the school.  

Capilano Elementary and Norgate Community Elementary do not have portables operating as classrooms, nor do they have portables that could be converted into classrooms. While adding portables might be a possibility at each school, the Ministry of Education does not fund portables unless it is absolutely necessary. Since there is space for students within the geographical area at Norgate Community Elementary, it is unlikely that the Ministry of Education would fund portables for Capilano Elementary School.


Change to catchment areas 

School Districts are expected to regularly assess catchment areas to ensure balanced enrolment at schools. If a school is over capacity and a neighbouring school has space, it is expected that catchment areas will be reviewed to determine feasibility of changing the catchment areas to balance out enrolment between the schools. When reviewing catchment areas, the following considerations are taking into account: 1. Walking distance to/from school; 2. Proximity of schools to one another; 3. Public transit and active transportation routes; 4. Family of schools transition (ex: groups of elementary schools feed to secondary schools); 5. Major roads; and 6. Physical terrain, such as major hills, waterways, parkland pathways.

Capilano Elementary School is currently operating at 89% capacity and by 2025 will be over capacity. Meanwhile, neighbouring elementary school Norgate Community Elementary is only operating at 53% and has space available. A catchment area review in the Capilano area will assess the feasibility of balancing student enrolment among neighbouring schools via changing catchment areas.


New buildings/expansions

While there is capacity pressure at Capilano Elementary, there is space at Norgate Community Elementary. It is difficult to receive capital funding from the Ministry of Education to build a new school or expand a school if there is surplus capacity in the area and catchment areas are not adjusted to balance the student capacity between schools.

Frequently asked questions

When will the revised catchment areas come into effect?

The catchment area changes would come into effect for the 2020/2021 school year.

What if my child is currently attending Capilano Elementary School and our address becomes out-of-catchment?

The catchment area changes will be phased in. Current students, along with their younger siblings, who become out-of-catchment due to the catchment area changes can remain in their current school.

What if I have a child currently attending Capilano Elementary School, our address becomes out-of-catchment, and I have a younger child yet to enter kindergarten?

The catchment area changes will be phased in. Current students, along with their younger siblings, who become out-of-catchment due to the catchment area changes can remain in their current school.

Has Westview Elementary School been considered as an option (to move students from Capilano Elementary to Westview Elementary)?

Westview Elementary School is currently operating at 106% capacity and enrolment projections demonstrate that enrolment will continue to rise.


Staff, parent, student and community feedback is essential so that an accurate feasibility assessment can be undertaken.

Community consultation evening

Thursday, May 2, 2019

7 - 9 p.m.

Norgate Community Elementary School (1295 Sowden St, North Vancouver, BC, V7P 1L9)

Email feedback

Feedback will be gathered at the community consultation evening. Feedback can also be provided via email to Deadline for providing feedback is Sunday, May 12, 2019.