Access for all: our Sanctuary Schools Policy

As a school district, we’re committed to providing education to all the kids living in our community, in a safe and welcoming environment 鈥 including for children and families with precarious immigration status or no immigration status.

That’s why in May of 2017, we proudly became the first district in BC to institute a Sanctuary Schools Policy. The intent of the policy is to make sure that families who live in our community (those who meet the provincial definition of being an “ordinarily resident” in New Westminster), can access school without fear that their information will be shared with federal immigration authorities, unless there is a specific case where it may be required to do so by law.

Why did our board introduce this policy? Because every child in New Westminster deserves to receive our support, no matter what life circumstances brought them to live in our community.

When it comes to making that happen, the team at our new Welcome Centre is ready to coordinate confidential meetings with students and families 鈥 to work alongside them to determine whether they are able to enroll through our regular registration process, whether their circumstances actually qualify them as an International (fee paying) student, or whether the Sanctuary School Policy is the right fit to support them in joining our school community.

And to further enable the gradual transition, once families have enrolled their children, we can connect them with other services in our community to help support building connections in New Westminster.

Our sanctuary schools policy: about supporting access for all.


Want to share this info? You can find our Sanctuary School postcard here:

To register at one of our schools or start a confidential discussion to see if the Sanctuary Schools Policy applies to your family’s situation, send an email to or read more about registration here: /our-schools/registration/registration-information-forms/