Willoughby families can breathe a sigh of relief after Langley board of education voted unanimously to maintain the status quo for schools on the slope over the next couple years.
Langley School District is looking at what to do about overcrowding in Willoughby.
There was talk about Willoughby students being bused out of the area to other schools and new catchment boundaries being drawn. Reconfiguration of the elementary schools to K-6 were on the table.
At the last school board meeting before summer break on Tuesday night, district staff recommended that the board vote to keep the current grade configuration of K-5, Grades 6-8 for Yorkson Creek middle school and Grades 9-12 at R.E. Mountain Secondary.
Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman explained that, through the consultation meetings, the Willoughby community expressed a desire for stability and that Yorkson Middle School not be broken up.
Retaining the current configuration will mean portables at Richard Bulpitt and the possibility of portables at Lynn Fripps. Mountain Secondary will continue to use its 16 portables. There are ways to free up more classroom space at Yorkson, Hoffman said.
Richard Bulpitt Elementary is the fastest growing primary school in Langley, with its population nearly doubling in three years.
The district will start looking at Willoughby’s catchments and begin drawing new draft boundaries with the idea that those new borders will go to the public for consultation, starting in February 2016.
The plan is for the board to approve new catchments by late spring 2016 but for them not to take effect until 2017/18.
Hoffman said they will be looking at grandfathering students who already attend a school but no longer fit in the catchment.
The District continues to hope the Ministry of Education will approve a new high school for Willoughby slope but so far have heard nothing from them, said Hoffman.
She said it is difficult to make plans without knowing if or when a new high school is coming.