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Placement Questions

Frequently asked questions about school/program placement:

Which school is best for my child?

  • All schools follow a curriculum required by the Ministry of Education and all secondary schools have a university entrance program. Universities accept students based on marks, not the name of a particular secondary school.

How do you determine what grade my child will go into?

  • Students are usually placed in the grade that matches their age. This can change after the teacher has a chance to observe your child over a period of time and after discussion between the teacher, parent, and school principal.
  • Grade Placement Chart:

*YOB: Year of Birth  

*YOG: Year of Graduation

What school would my child attend?

  • Your child can attend the neighbourhood school if you live within that school's boundary and there is space and a program available. Your child could also attend a cross-boundary school. Find your catchment school here.

What school does my child attend if we live right on a school boundary?

  • Boundary lines are in the middle of the road. If your house number is an even number, your school will be on the south or east side of the boundary. If your house is an odd number, your school will be on the north or west side of the boundary.


What happens after I register my child at the Newcomer Welcome Center?

  •  If all required documents are submitted, we will assess your child, if needed, and then forward your child's file to your neighbourhood school. Elementary schools usually need 2 to 5 working days to process each student's file, and 5 to 10 working days for Secondary schools.
  • If you have not heard from the school within these periods of time, phone or visit the school directly. If your neighbourhood school is full, then your neighbourhood school will find a place for your child at a nearby school. The school will inform you of the placement as soon as it is ready. The Newcomer Welcome Center does not have placement information.

How long does my child have to wait after registering before he or she can go to school?

  • It usually takes 1 week for elementary school students and 2 weeks for high school students between the date of registration and the first day of school. See previous question for more details.

What happens if a school is full and my child's name is on a waiting list?

  • He or she will be placed in the next closest school that has space and a program available. An elementary school student can transfer to the neighbourhood school when space becomes available. Secondary school students can only transfer to the neighbourhood school at the end of the school year, provided there is space, resources and a program available to accommodate the student.

If my child has a special learning need, what do I need to do?

  • If your child has special learning needs, bring all available medical records, psycho-educational assessments and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to the Newcomer Welcome Center when you register your child.  If you do not have these records, we will ask you to sign a form giving us permission to request them.
  • We will send these records to a Special Needs Case Manager who will work with you to identify classes or support systems to help your child.

What happens if my child has little or no English?

  • Your child's English language skills will be assessed at the Newcomer Welcome Center. Extra language support will be provided, if necessary, by staff at the school.

Do all elementary schools have an ELL program?

  • All elementary schools have staff who offer ELL support services. Exactly how that will look varies from school to school. Your child's new school would be happy to explain their support program to you.

Do all secondary schools have an ELL program?

  • All secondary schools have ELL classes. They also have language support programs for students who are more advanced in their English language learning.

Does the Vancouver School Board have any programs for very bright children?

  • The Vancouver School Board has a variety of programs for gifted and talented learners. After observing your child for a period of time, teachers may discuss with you program changes that would better suit your child's ability.

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