AN INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC EDUCATION IN CHILLIWACK.


 

With the new year comes the registration of your children for the upcoming school year. Being fortunate to have so many schools to choose from in Chilliwack, here is an introduction to education options in Chilliwack to get you started on preparing for your child’s education.


Early Childhood Education

 

Even before your child enters elementary school, Chilliwack provides early learning opportunities. The StrongStart BC program is designed for young children that are 5 years old or younger. While attending with a child, parents or caregivers can drop in to the program throughout the school year to help the child prepare for kindergarten.

With play-based activities such as music, art and stories, children will be able to interact with children around the same age and make new friends. In an environment designed to facilitate early learning, children can develop their language, social, emotional, cognitive and physical abilities.

Parents and caregivers only need to register the first time they attend an activity at a StrongStart Centre. StrongStart Centres are available at the following elementary schools in Chilliwack:

  • Bernard Elementary
  • École La Vérendrye
  • Little Mountain Elementary
  • McCammon Traditional Elementary
  • Rosedale Traditional Community School
  • Unsworth Elementary
  • Watson Elementary


Elementary School

 

Though Chilliwack is able to maintain its charming character from having a friendly community and being free from congestion, the Chilliwack School District still needs to serve over 14,000 full-time and part-time students, which is sustained by 1,800 teachers and support staff. To support the number of students, the school district has 20 elementary schools, which means that families have a diversity of communities they can live in and still have a school nearby.

The school that your children attend depends on the location of the students’ primary residence. If the school is not within walking distance, bus service is available if the elementary school is more than 3 kilometers away from your home. An exception to this is in urban areas in Chilliwack and Sardis, which have service provided by the city transit. If your children are not eligible for the bus service, they could still get permission to take the bus service based on availability of seating on existing routes. You can complete the bus service registration online before the end of June each year.

In Chilliwack, parents can expect solid education for their children as well. In the elementary school foundation skills assessment comparing the Chilliwack School District in the last five years, the assessment scores for reading, writing and numeracy are above the range across BC. Similarly, in response to the satisfaction of what students are learning in school indicated by students, parents and staff, the satisfaction in Chilliwack School District is 2% to 21% higher than the provincial average in the last five years.


Middle and Secondary School

 

After completing grade 5 in elementary school, students go to middle school for grade 6 to grade 8 before moving on to secondary school. Chilliwack has 5 middle schools and recently, the number of secondary schools also increased to 5 schools.

Bus service is also available to middle school and secondary school students if the primary residence of the students is more than 4 kilometers away. All the other eligibility conditions for elementary school students mentioned previously also apply to the bus service for middle school and secondary school students. For teenagers who manage to take transit by themselves, they can even download Ride 360 busing app to get instant notifications of service disruptions or delays.

Students in secondary school continue the solid performance of elementary school students with higher average marks than the provincial average in the last five years for all provincial exams required to be taken by all secondary school students. In addition to academics, students have a wide range of courses to choose from, including courses such as autobody, construction electrical, music composition and sports medicine. With the course selection, it’s no surprise that students, parents and staff at BC public schools have a 3-19% higher satisfaction score on the education in Chilliwack in the last 5 years than the provincial average.



No matter if your children are just starting their formal education or pushing to explore more during their most inquisitive years, Chilliwack provides a solid educational experience across different ages. Whether they’re getting ready to enter the workforce or continue their education at one of the many post-secondary institutions at Canada Education Park, starting from when you register your children for a school, you can rest assured that they have a solid foundation to build upon.

To find the nearest school to whichever wonderful Chilliwack neighbourhood you may reside, you can use this handy Chilliwack school locator tool. Whether you’re exploring the catchment area of the best school for your kids or learning how certain neighbourhoods can support your children’s development, speaking to somebody knowledgeable about Chilliwack would also be helpful. With over two decades of experience in Chilliwack and a team that loves to help you settle into the perfect neighbourhood, contact the team at Bryan Van Hoepen to see how we can help you.