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Extended day schedules confirmed for five Surrey secondary schools

Starting this September, five of the Surrey School District’s most crowded secondary schools will begin implementing an extended day to address capacity challenges.

The five schools are Grandview Heights Secondary, Fleetwood Park Secondary, Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary, Kwantlen Park Secondary, and Tamanawis Secondary.

Additionally, Fraser Heights Secondary and Salish Secondary are under consideration for an extended day. Decisions regarding these two schools are expected by May 2024, and will be based on student course selections and enrolment.

“Extended day isn’t an option we want to implement,” said Laurie Larsen, Chair of the Surrey Board of Education. “We know there are likely going to be challenges for our staff, our students and their families. Our preference is to construct new schools and additions in neighbourhoods where they’re needed, but we have to explore other options while we continue to advocate for provincial funding.

“We’re at a point now where it’s very difficult for us to accommodate any additional student enrolment growth in the existing infrastructure we have, particularly at our secondary schools where the majority of our schools are significantly over capacity.”

An extended day involves lengthening the school day by one block (or class period), so there will be five blocks instead of four. Students at those schools would continue attending four blocks per day, but each student’s schedule will depend on their classes. For example, some students may attend the first four blocks, others the last four, and some may attend the first two and last two blocks of the day.

Implementing an extended day schedule will increase each school’s capacity by an estimated 10-15%. By staggering student attendance times, schools can optimize the use of available space and accommodate their current student population and anticipated growth, without compromising the quality of education or the integrity of the learning environment. 

Furthermore, an extended day will optimize access to shared resources such as classrooms, technology labs, libraries, and metal/wood shops. This ensures that all students, regardless of their attendance schedule, have equal and fair access to these facilities.

“Providing a quality education in a safe and engaging learning environment is always a priority for our board,” adds Chairperson Larsen. “Our staff will continue to ensure that every student in Surrey and White Rock continues to have equitable access to an enriching learning experience.”

To address any questions or concerns families may have regarding the extended day format, the district has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. This resource is available in ArabicChineseEnglishPunjabi, and Spanish.

Extended day was approved by the Surrey Board of Education at the public meeting on February 14, 2024 (35:20 mark).

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