Olympic Village School

Every Village Needs a School

Kindergarten Lottery 2022

QEA-OV Saga Continues

Nearly every elementary school in Vancouver's core has a waitlist for kindergarten, and parents are frustrated

Justin Mcelroy - CBC NEWS - March 4, 2022

For parents living in downtown Vancouver with a child about to enter kindergarten, the month of February is inevitably stressful.

"We were waiting anxiously," said Jennifer Groenewold, who purchased a home in the Crosstown neighbourhood across the street from Crosstown Elementary School, in the hope that her daughter could have an easy walk to school.

Read the full story here.

“Parents Believe That This Is Part Of A Quid Pro Quo:” The Story Of The Queen Elizabeth Annex Closure Consideration

Editorial Board - The Griffin's Nest - June 5, 2022

... at the end of the initial staff presentation, Board Chair Janet Fraser read a statement at the request of then Minister of Education Rob Fleming regarding the closure of QEA.

"I was contacted by the Minister of Education today, and he would like to share the following information,” said Fraser.

“‘If the VSB is able to consult, gain support, and transfer Queen Elizabeth Annex to become a new public francophone school for French-speaking rights holders in the City of Vancouver, he will have an opportunity to bring forward to government a new school at Olympic Village utilizing contributions from the VSB the Ministry and the City of Vancouver.'”

The motion before the trustees was whether or not to proceed to public consultation regarding a potential closure. Trustee Wong made a lengthy statement regarding the information he sought to make a decision, and questioned whether the Minister's suggestion amounted to a "quid pro quo with respect to QEA and Olympic Village or the [University of British Columbia] site."

Read the full story here.

Kindergarten Lottery 2021 & City moves forward

Vancouver families disappointed after annual school lottery

Renee Bernard - NEWS1130 - February 22, 2021

The Vancouver School Board has conducted its annual kindergarten admission lottery for over-subscribed schools and once again the families of students not chosen are very upset.

“I felt completely gutted,” says Jennifer Laing, whose daughter applied to attend kindergarten at False Creek elementary this fall. She was notified 78 people submitted applications for 40 spots, 11 of which were taken up by the younger siblings of students already enrolled in the school.

Read the full story here

All but one elementary school in Vancouver's core has wait-list for kindergarten

Justin McElroy - CBC - February 24, 2021

If you live in the middle of Vancouver and your first child is entering kindergarten, it's the sort of situation talked about in hushed, knowing tones.

"I heard about it through parents talking, but you don't really know what it's all about until you go through it yourself," said Debbie Lee, who lives in the city's Fairview neighbourhood.

Read the full story here

New milestone reached on future Olympic Village elementary school

Kenneth Chan - Daily Hive - February 24, 2021

There is some new movement on the plan to provide the Olympic Village in the Southeast False Creek neighbourhood with a new additional elementary school.

Vancouver City Council and the Vancouver School Board (VSB) announced today they have approved entering into a 99-year lease for the school site.

Read the full story here

Olympic Village elementary school plan inches forward but funding still up in the air

Karin Larsen - CBC - February 24, 2021

The good news is a long anticipated elementary school promised for Vancouver's Olympic Village neighbourhood seems one step closer to reality with the announcement a lease is about to be signed to secure land for the project.

The bad news is funding for the school is not yet secured, meaning there's still no guarantee it will ever be built.

Read the full story here

BC Election 2020: NDP Campaign Promise - A Step Forward?

On Saturday, October 10th a small group gathered in Olympic Village to hear NDP Candidates Brenda Bailey and George Heyman make a commitment to fund a school in Olympic Village if the BCNDP are elected in the October 24th election.

Many mixed feelings here: will it actually happen, are they buying votes in False Creek, this won't solve the huge enrollment issues surrounding DT/False Creek, recognition of the many, many families who have pushed for this over the years and the even more families who have moved away without hope thereby devastating our thriving community.

Then there is the VSB and City involvement that have the potential to scuttle any Provincial promise. Our fingers are crossed but we are not holding our breath.

2020-21 Ministry Capital Response Letter: No School Funding

The VSB recently shared the March 5th Capital Response Letter from the Ministry of Education. Any inkling of hope that a school in Olympic Village would be funded was dashed as the Ministry neglected to fund any major capital projects in Vancouver. This is disappointing but not necessarily unexpected. It was the last hope that the Kindergarten class of 2023 would have an opportunity to access a school in their community.

The next step for the VSB is to write a letter to the Minister asking why the VSB requests, including the top priority Olympic Village School, were not approved. Should we warn them that our community wrote many a letter and received little a response? Despite the hundreds of families displaced from their school in recent years, no concrete action has been taken by any level of government (School Board, City, Province).

This leaves many families with little choice but to relocate or exit the public system resulting in a failure for our community and the public school system. Perhaps more disappointing is the VSB's apparent lack of Plan B, it seems like more of a go BIG or go home approach. The recommendation is to please stay home.

2020 VSB Kindergarten Enrollment Lottery

Feb 24, 2020 VSB Board Meeting

Frustrated parents sat through a 2 hour meeting to finally have their questions "answered".

If you only have a minute, flip to the final part of the video.

There are no answers.

If you aren't mad enough, read the rosy March 2nd, 2020 VSB Media Release here.

2020 Kindergarten Enrollment Pressures in Vancouver

This map was put together with bits of information provided by the VSB. 8 of 12 schools are concentrated around downtown.

Red: Waitlist schools that cannot accommodate all 2020 in-catchment K

Green: Schools that MAY accept cross-boundary

Yellow: Other schools (includes not accepting cross-boundary & choice)

The map can be found here.

February 20th Enrollment at 8 Schools around City Centre

These are the original figures for Kindergarten students that were accepted/waitlisted for September 2020.

Data was compiled through waitlist letters & community information from the 8 central schools as VSB did not publish (for 2019 required FOI).

Rate of Acceptance for non-siblings considerably lower (i.e. Fraser 21%).

The data table and waitlist letters can be found here.

Check Out Spring 2020 Olympic Village School and Kindergarten Lottery Media coverage

Still no school in Olympic Village

Lynda Steele - CKNW - March 6, 2020

We chat with Lisa McAllister, a parent concerned about the lack of schools in Olympic Village.

Listen to the full story here

VSB responds to inaction on school in Olympic Village

Lynda Steele - CKNW - March 10, 2020

We spoke to Lisa McAllister last week about her concerns about the continued lack of a school in Olympic Village.

Today the VSB responds.

We have Janet Fraser who is Chair of the Vancouver School Board.

We also have Lisa McAllister on again, to respond to what Janet told us.

Listen to the full story here

The kindergarten waitlist issue for parents living in the core of Vancouver isn't as bad as you think it is.

It's worse.

- Justin McElroy, CBC Vancouver

Tracy Sherlock - Vancouver Courier - March 2, 2020

OPINION: Too much talk, not enough action as Vancouver schools fill to capacity

Adrianne Tanner - Globe & Mail - February 28, 2020

Both BC and Vancouver's school board get a failing grade in education planning

Editorial - Globe & Mail - February 28, 2020

Why are Canadian cities building neighbourhoods without schools?

Patti Bacchus - Georgia Straight - February 27, 2020

The solutions to VSB's kindergarten space crunch

Alex Bozikovic - Globe & Mail - February 26, 2020

Downtown crowding and empty chairs: Fixing imbalance will take radical change

Justin McElroy - CBC Vancouver - February 26, 2020

Nearly every school in Vancouver's core has a waitlist for kindergarten

Michael Geller - Vancouver Courier - February 24, 2020

Why does Vancouver continue to build family oriented communities without enough schools?

CBC Vancouver - February 20, 2020

Parents frustrated as kindergarten lottery leaves closest school out of range

School Catchment frustrations in Vancouver

Tom Walsh - CityNews 1130 - February 20, 2020

Meanwhile, parents held a rally at the Creekside Community Centre against the lottery system tonight.

Watch the segment here.

Parents of Kindergarten-aged kids continue to wait word on placements

BC gov't pushes back at VSB as parents struggle with lottery system

Vancouver school lottery, waitlists put before, after school care in limbo

Vancouver parents growing frustrated that they can't send their children to schools near home

Stephen Quinn - CBC The Early Edition - February 21, 2020

Mothers Laura Moore and Lisa McAllister speak with Stephen Quinn about the growing disappointment having to spend hours a day getting their kids to school.

Listen to the segment here.

Stephen Quinn - CBC The Early Edition - March 3, 2020

Vancouver School Board chair Janet Fraser speaks with Stephen Quinn in response to criticism by parents that not enough space is available ion growing neighbourhoods. Stephen also speaks with parents impacted by the lack of space. The Minister declined the invitation to join.

Listen to the segment here.

10 years later, residents still waiting for a school in Olympic Village

Emad Agahi - CTV News - February 16, 2020

VANCOUVER -- Parents living in Vancouver's Olympic Village neighbourhood are frustrated with the lack of options when it comes to sending their kids to school. “Anybody that says kids don't live in condos -- that is just an outdated belief," said Lisa McAllister, who lives in Olympic Village with her family of four. Her daughter starts kindergarten in the fall and as of now, she has no school to go to.

Watch/Read the full story here

Check Out Fall 2019 Olympic Village School Media Coverage

School Lottery Playgym - Rally

Thursday, February 20th 4-5:30pm

@ Creekside Gymnasium

Come and join the discussion while the kids play - the status quo is not acceptable and the lack of action by the VSB, Ministry of Education and City of Vancouver is disappointing.

Our community and others need to work together to pressure for ACTION!

Everyone is welcome to come and join us on Thursday, February 20th 4pm-5:30pm in the Creekside Gymnasium, 1 Athletes Way in Olympic Village.

Hope to see you there!

And best of luck to you all on your Kindergarten Lottery results.

Visit our Twitter for the most recent updates!

Vancouver School Board - Community October Townhall

Visit our Twitter for the most recent updates!

On October 22nd, 50+ community members joined VSB Secretary-Treasurer David Green and VSB Deputy Superintendent David Nelson at Creekside Community Centre to have a conversion around the school situation.

Olympic Village Presentation

VSB Presentation

Meeting notes including Q&A

2019 VSB Long Range Facilities Info Session

VSB Long Range Facilities Fact Sheet

Olympic Village in Prior Capital Plans

Recent comments from Minister Fleming

Information about our Community & School Crisis

Schools attended by Olympic Village students

From the feedback in our petition, the above schools are attended by students living in Olympic Village. Pending updates.

Current capacity utilization at elem. schools

Simon Fraser Elementary is currently operating at 159% capacity utilization (up from 140% in 2016). Be careful using this map to make other assumptions.

Neighbouring Schools to Proposed Site

Look at the ring of schools around the proposed Olympic Village School site and walking distance.

Why aren't kids walking to school?


Welcome Neighbours:

Developments in Simon Fraser Catchment

Check out all the new neighbours we'll soon have - including an 145 Unit Affordable Housing Project targeting 50% Family Tennancy.

Where will these kids be sent to school?

Thank you for your support!

On a dark and dreary September evening, it was great to see the community come out and meet our MLAs, School Trustees and City Councillors as we work together to solve our school "crisis".

Also a BIG THANKS to our community supporters:

  • Creekside Community Centre

  • Terra Breads

  • Gusto

  • Urban Fare

  • Craft

  • JJ Bean

Next time we'll make sure to ask Legacy to support as well :-)

Check out the community suggestions for how we could solve this problem.

The Premier, The Mayor and The School Board Chair Visit Olympic Village School

On July 4th, the Olympic Village cardboard school patiently awaited the dignitaries and media in front of the community centre. Thank you to Premier John Horgan for taking the time to chat and listen to our concerns. It is comforting to know that if our school is a priority for the VSB that the Province will fund it and that there was an opportunity for him to discuss this with Education Minister Rob Fleming later in the day. We understand that feedback from the community is key and that is why we are ready for you to send your letters.

CKNW "An adorable protest"

On Thursday July 18th at Hinge Park there is an adorable protest - residents of Olympic Village are having a picnic and building a school out of cardboard boxes - why? The residents in the area want a school, their catchment school is Simon Fraser Elementary which isn’t close and also is a lottery - many kids - in fact most kids - don’t get in.

On the July 16th Lynda Steele Show, Jody Vance chatted with Southeast False Creek community member and advocate for a new elementary school in Olympic Village, Joseph Tesoro. Listen to the interview here.

Letter to City of Vancouver Mayor and Council

The City of Vancouver's 2007 development plan for Olympic Village anticipated a population of up to 16,000 residents by 2020. This plan included the building of three to five licensed childcare facilities, two out-of-school care facilities, and an elementary school by 2020. As of yet, the promised elementary school project remains unfunded.

There are 65 children who were not accepted into Kindergarten this fall at their catchment school, Simon Fraser Elementary. They need a school now.

On June 21st, we sent a letter to the City of Vancouver's mayor and city council to ask for their support in advocating for the construction of a school at Olympic Village.

Read the full letter here.

Meeting with Janet Fraser, VSB Chairperson

Simon Fraser Elementary Trustee Liaison

On May 22nd, three Olympic Village parents met with Janet Fraser to discuss the school situation and clarify some of the information we received during the petition process.

      • Confirmed that Hinge Park on Columbia Street between Walter Hardwick and Athletes Way is the proposed school site

      • A seismic assessment of a site closer to the Cambie Street bridge was completed with the Francophone School District but did not move forward

      • Temporary building solutions are not currently under consideration

      • School catchment changes are initiated by VSB staff and may be up for discussion effective 2020/21

      • Janet Fraser is liaising with the VSB Superintendent regarding the possibility of creating Olympic Village cohorts and transporting them to a school with available capacity as was done with Crosstown Elementary prior to opening

          • + allows community children to attend school together

          • + builds stronger parent network in support of our ultimate goal

          • - children will likely be located at a distant school

Thank you Janet for taking the time to meet with us!

Vancouver School Board

Facilities Planning Committee Meeting

May 15th 5pm - 1580 West Broadway

The presentation focused on:

      • The current school situation at Simon Fraser Elementary

            • 105 in-catchment Kindergarten applicants

            • 40 spaces available

            • 27 went to siblings with priority

            • 13 remaining placements for 78 students (17%)

      • Petition has more than 550 responses showing strong community support

      • What options are there now? Temporary Modular School?

Check out the video here. Olympic Village presents from 25:00 - 42:30.

Our kick-off rally in Hinge Park. On May 11th, we built the school of our dreams!