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Special programs, including Mandarin, highly popular in Vancouver, BC.

March 4, 2015

Vancouver, British Columbia has just one Mandarin immersion school, despite the city being 17% Chinese-Canadian. And yes, I didn’t read carefully and initially conflated it with the much smaller (and non-Canadian) city of Vancouver, Wash., which also has one Mandarin immersion program–but no French immersion!

Clearly Vancouver’s choice programs are very popular, as are neighborhood schools. It’s always a quandary, how you balance these two things. I don’t envy districts trying to please everyone:

“The city’s one early Mandarin Immersion program, at Norquay Elementary on the city’s east side, has 79 students vying for 22 spaces, which leaves 57 on the waiting list There are 529 French Immersion kindergarten spaces in Vancouver for September and all of them are full. Another 270 students who wanted a French Immersion school as their first choice are wait-listed. There are 66 Montessori kindergarten spaces for next year and all of them are full, with another 105 students on that waiting list. An International Baccalaureate program has 22 full spaces and 19 students on the waiting list, while a fine arts program has 22 full spaces and 20 students on the waiting list.”

Many Vancouver kindergarten parents scrambling for school space

Specialty programs and some neighbourhood schools have more students than spots

Many Vancouver kindergarten parents scrambling for school space

Hundreds of children in Vancouver will not be able to attend their kindergarten of choice in September.


VANCOUVER — Nearly 500 kindergarten students in Vancouver won’t be attending their parents’ first choice of school in September, and more than 80 can’t even get into their neighbourhood school.

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