Schools in Vancouver

Hi All,

We are planning to move there sometime next year. We have a 5 year old. We are currently in Seattle and our child attends a public school here.Can someone comment on the school system in BC? I am looking for input on the following specifics;
1)How is the quality of education in BC compared to that in US?
2) If your child has studied in US, how has she/he adjusted to schooling in BC? Is it harder or easier?

Hi @spai, we are in the same boat as your family. We have a 6 yr old and are planning to move to Vancouver area in the first half of next year. I am starting my school research only now, but would love to share notes in future, as I find more. Wondering if you have any pointers for me, or if you have finalized a school for your kiddo?

There’s the Fraser Institute that ranks schools, perhaps that’s a good starting point.

As you’d expect, Private Schools typically score better than Public Schools, but there are also good Public Schools.

Hi this is what I have found so far ( had updated it in some other thread)

Disclaimer: I have not lived in Vancouver.My findings are based on online research and conversations with a lot of people living in BC. Please feel free to add your own experiences.

1. BC board mandates the syllabus across all districts.So the content is the same , but quality might vary depending on the teachers and students.

2. West Vancouver and North Vancouver are considered to have the best public schools.But the real estate there is on the pricier side. The “best school” status is mainly attributed to good teachers and rich parents who can afford to invest in their time and money in their kids education . Secondary schools in these districts seem to have more IB classes than AP classes.

3. Burnaby and Coquitlam are also supposed to have very good schools.But some secondary schools in certain areas in these districts can be situated in unsafe areas (Again I don’t know how to identify "unsafe "areas).People mentioned looking at crime stats and house prices to weed out unsafe areas.But the main consensus was schools in "safe "areas in both these schools districts are extremely good. Both school districts have more AP classes than IB programs in secondary schools. Esp Burnaby school district has a lot of AP classes.

4. Vancouver School district is also very good. Again its subject to the same distinction of safe and unsafe areas as above. The other issue with Vancouver school district is wait-times. Some good schools schools may have 1 year wait-times and preference is given to siblings of kids already present in schools.And there seems to be a lottery system to assign schools to kids.

5. Wait-times are common in other schools districts as well ( including those mentioned above).So even if you live in front of a particular school, your kid might not get a spot if there is a wait-list. In such cases, a different school in the same district will be assigned to your kid and if a spot opens up they will let you know.You can then chose to switch schools or continue sending your kid to the school originally assigned.

6. Fraser Institute releases rankings for each school with each district. So its a good starting point
But personally I wouldn’t rely too much on these rankings as they are based just on the standard test scores of students and in my opinion there are many confounding factors that are not considered in the assigning ranks. For instance kids of rich parents tend to score higher on these tests.But is it solely due to the schools efforts or also because they can afford to have private tutors. But again to each his own.

Many have advised looking at the quality of secondary schools rather than the elementary schools.Like in US, the you can’t go wrong with elementary schools. Most of them are similar to each other.