FAQ

Land for the school site has been provided by the Archdiocese. A portion of tuition fees will go toward the financing costs associated with the school’s construction. The ability to service this debt will be driven by enrollment where, as student numbers grow so too does the school’s capacity to carry this debt.

The Plan is viable and can sustain itself. Our projections support financing this school through tuition fees, the enrollment deposits levied, the government block grant and targeted capital fundraising. It is similar to how other independent schools in the South Surrey area have
been built, which in most cases have been built without the benefit of having the land in place already. We have looked closely at the financials for Vancouver College, St. Thomas More Collegiate and Little Flower Academy in part owing to their tuition fee structure being closer to what is in place for St. John Paul Il Academy and because of their experience with having a foundation in place to assist with capital works and development

The Refundable Enrollment Deposit program asks the families of students accepted into St. John Paul II Academy to contribute $25,000 to the school that will be returned to the family when their child graduates.  By introducing this program these funds can be used to help secure bank financing for the school’s construction.  While these funds are held by the school an interest payment of 3% to the family will be made on an annual basis for the duration that these funds are held.  

Yes.  All applications to attend St. John Paul II Academy will be reviewed by the administration to ensure that a place is held for the child or children in the family that has placed the deposit. 

Yes. Enrollment Deposits given to the school will be held until the last child registered at the school graduates. For example, if your family has two children separated by two years and both attend St. John Paul II Academy the Enrolment Deposit would be held from when the first child enters the school until the second child graduates.

BY providing an interest payment while these deposits are held by the school it is meant to lessen the interest costs should a family need to borrow to pay the Refundable Enrollment Deposit. Determining the precise costs to you will be the difference between the interest rate charged to borrow the funds versus the interest paid on the Refundable Enrollment Deposit for the duration it is held by the school. The exact costs will depend on the type of financing you arrange with your bank.

Families not able to issue a cheque today for their Refundable Enrollment Deposit might look to approach their family for help. You might also look to speak with your bank or local credit union to see if a loan of some sort could be arranged. There are many options and it is best that you speak with your banker to determine the most suitable option for you. You might also consider paying the deposit in installments and begin this process before your child begins schooling at St. John Paul II Academy.

Yes.  The school encourages families to place the full enrollment deposit as quickly as possible but accepts that some families are able to make the payment in installments.  Any request to make use of an installment plan will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the St. John Paul II Academy Foundation.  

Yes.  We recognize that families for whatever reason may move away from the school to another city or another part of Vancouver.  In such circumstances the Refundable Enrollment Deposit would be returned to the family at the end of the current school year (eg, if a student withdraws in January the deposit would be refunded at end June) 

Funds received will be held in trust by CISVA for the express purpose of St. John Paul II Academy and will be transferred to the foundation once it is established and charitable status confirmed.

Yes. Grandparents are most welcome to make a Refundable Enrolment Deposit on behalf of their grandchild. These funds would be held by the school until the last grandchild graduates.

The need for Catholic secondary education that serves Catholic families in the South Surrey area has long been recognized.    It is not uncommon for a large number of children graduating from a Catholic elementary school in the area not to continue on in a Catholic secondary school in part owing to too few places.

South Surrey also reflects a wider demographic trend, namely that the area is growing significantly and with it the Catholic population.  The student population in Surrey as at September 2019 was 75,000 students and in Vancouver 55,000.  Vancouver has 5 Catholic secondary schools; Surrey 1.

The approach taken for St. John Paul II Academy is a departure from how schools have been built and financed in the past.  It is not a replacement to this approach but rather recognizes the significant challenges the Archdiocese faces in providing Catholic education.  It recognizes the reality we face collectively as a system and the need to look at different solutions to address both the provision of Catholic education in the Archdiocese as well as how we address our capital needs. It recognizes that the approach taken to building schools in the past, which has created the proud legacy of schools we have today, must evolve to incorporate other approaches to meet today’s need.  This is particularly the case knowing the capital challenge the Archdiocese faces in undertaking the significant seismic work to upgrade or rebuild our existing schools.

Interim governance for the Academy will be under CISVA as the school works to put in place its own legal structure to reflect the non-regional character of this Catholic school after which overall governance will transition to this new entity.  In July of 2020, the Saint John Paul II Academy Society was incorporated under the Societies Act of British Columbia.  The board of the Society is the authority and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of the school.  

While there are some similarities with these schools, they differ in some important respects.  For example, the history of these schools reflect that they were started by a community of religious who established the school to provide education to local Catholic children.  In each case these religious communities came at the invitation of the local bishop at the time and over the years have developed their own governance that reflects both their beginnings and how this has evolved into the schools and entities that support them today.    

As it is the Archbishop who permits Catholic schools to operate, with St. John Paul II Academy we recognize that we are embarking on a different model and structure, the detail of which we are working through now.

The proposed location of the new school is at 182th Street and 24th Avenue (18230 24th Avenue) where the Archdiocese has set aside a 9-10 acre parcel of land in South Surrey.

The planning assumption is to house students at the Star of the Sea Parish Centre in 2018-19 and for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.  The expectation is that students will be located on the new campus during the 2022-2023 school year.

Yes.  The land is adequate to house a full high school, gymnasium, outdoor playing field, parking and other amenities.

Yes.  The school accepts young men and women.

The tuition fee structure at St. John Paul II Academy is slightly higher than the current schedule of tuition charged at other Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese and is slightly lower than those fees charged at Vancouver College, St. Thomas More and Little Flower Academy.  Current tuition is $6,700 (2020-21) school year) for the first child.  The main reason for this premium when compared to regional Catholic high schools is that these schools receive from parishes a per student operating subsidy that helps offset the cost of education as well as capital support and explains why there is this tuition fee differential.

As in the case with many of our Catholic schools there are families that sometime require financial assistance to meet their obligations to the school.  There is in place a bursary program and families requiring assistance are encouraged to contact the school.  More information can be found on the school’s website:  https://www.sjp2academy.com/admission/financial-aid/ under the Tuition Financial Aid Information section in Admissions.

St. John Paul II Academy will be a non-regional secondary school that will draw students largely from the South Surrey area.  It will actively target those children who attend Catholic elementary schools currently but don’t go on to a Catholic high school.  

As far as possible St. John Paul II Academy will make use of the facilities at Star of the Sea Parish Centre gymnasium for both curricular and extra-curricular activities. In cases where additional facilities are needed arrangements will be made to make use of nearby public facilities (pool, playing fields, track). Busing may be provided in cases where travel to and from these facilities is needed.

St. John Paul II Academy has included a vibrant extra-curricular program which involves athletic teams participating in the Surrey Athletic Association.  The Royals compete in Cross Country, Girls volleyball, and Swimming in the fall.  In the Winter, Boys and Girls basketball and, in the Spring, Ultimate, Track and Field and Tennis.  In addition, the school will be producing it’s initial drama production in the Spring of 2020 and has a Yearbook and Pro-Life Club along with a Campus Ministry Service Team.

The practice in opening a new school has generally been for the school to begin with the first grade level and then add an additional grade each year until the full complement of grades are in place.  This recognizes that in the majority of cases children remain at the school they start with few students transferring in from other schools.  With St. John Paul II Academy we will look to start with our first intake of grade 8 students and each year add a grade as this inaugural class works its way through to grade 12.  It recognizes as well that the full complement of students will take 5 years to complete and in doing so ensures that resources are focused on each grade level as they are built out.

Every effort will be made to recruit the best and brightest staff for our school.  Given the unique start-up nature of St. John Paul II Academy it offers to those teaching staff hired a rare opportunity to make their mark on the future direction and character of the school itself.  A listing of teachers and their biographies can be found here

While priority is given to the children of Catholic families, we welcome all families to apply to our school.  Further details of the Academy’s admission criteria can be found on the school’s website under Admissions.

St. John Paul II Academy will be run as a non-regional Catholic secondary school within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver, will follow the Ministry of   Education’s BC Curriculum as well as CISVA’s religious education curricula.  In addition to the core curriculum and religious education curricula additional electives will be introduced at each grade level that will respond to the fine arts/applied skills requirements.

Yes.  There will be start up costs associated with the temporary location as well as costs that will be incurred to build the permanent campus.  The financials recognize that such costs will be incurred in tandem and the tuition fee structure takes this into consideration.

Mr. DesLauriers has served in Catholic Education for over 30 years. His teaching experience began at St. Thomas More Collegiate where he held key positions as a classroom teacher, Athletic Director, Religion Department Head, and Vice-Principal. From 1998 to 2011 he served the community of Vancouver College as Assistant Principal of the Middle School and Co-Campus Minister. He was appointed Principal of St. Thomas More Collegiate in 2011.

Mr. DesLauriers is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Recreation Education (’81). In 2011, Mr. DesLauriers was awarded a Masters of Religious Education from St. Mark’s College.

Mr. DesLaurier has made many notable contributions to the Archdiocese of Vancouver as a teacher, parishioner, administrator and highly respected Catholic educator. He and his family are dedicated and actively involved parishioners of St. Bernadette’s Parish in Surrey.

The initial governance for St. John Paul II Academy was under the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA).  This was done recognizing  that this would be on an interim basis as the school worked to establish itself as a non-regional Catholic secondary school within the Archdiocese.  Once the legal structure was decided the expectation was that the school would transition away from direct CISVA governance.  The permanent governance framework includes the following:  Saint John Paul II Academy Foundation established to get the school’s permanent campus built and oversee all capital requirements and financing and, Saint John Paul II Academy established to oversee the day-to-day operations of the school.  In addition an affiliation agreement between the Archbishop and the Society has been put in place that outlines the relationship between the Society and CISVA.

 

 

Oversight of the school’s day-to-day operations is exercised by the board of directors of Saint John Paul II Academy Society.  It is this body that operates as the authority for the school in all matters relating to the Ministry of Education.  The President of the Academy operates as the chief executive for the school and is answerable to the board.  The Principal reports directly to the President.

This initiative provides for a new approach to funding the building of the school that is a marked departure from how the Archdiocese has done so in the past.  The model for a CISVA regional high school was in part created recognizing that the capital responsibilities for the regional school rest with the catchment of parishes within which the school is located.  In practical terms this has meant that major capital expenses to maintain the school building, or undertake the school’s redevelopment, are the responsibility of parishes that fall within the school’s catchment.  In the case of St. John Paul II Academy the model is different in that the responsibility for capital falls not to the parishes but to the school.  This will necessitate that a different structure be created to manage the capital side of its operation.  The legal entity that will be responsible for this will be a foundation.

This initiative is a very much a hybrid in that it is a departure from the regional model that has been followed in the Archdiocese to date.   It is not regional in the sense that the responsibility for capital is apportioned among a catchment of parishes.   

The use of the term ‘academy’ implies nothing more than that it is a school.

St. John Paul II Academy is looking to target the substantial number of Catholic students who complete elementary school in one of our schools but do not go on to a Catholic high school.   This is particularly the case with students attending Star of the Sea Elementary currently.  Further, South Surrey is a growing part of the lower mainland and we expect that the Catholic community in this area will continue to grow.

The interim location of St. John Paul II Academy will be at Star of the Sea Parish Centre, located a short distance from Star of the Sea Elementary School. It will have no impact on the elementary school.

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