A typical nominal capacity is 20K + 450 (e.g. Albion Elementary).
This means there are 20 spaces allocated to kindergarten and 450 spaces allocated to grades 1-7. The total school nominal capacity is 470.
Nominal – Relating to a designated or theoretical size that may vary from the actual.
To determine the number of student instructional spaces in a school, the Ministry of Education establishes a nominal capacity based on the following criteria:
|Kindergarten:||20 pupils per classroom|
|Elementary:||25 pupils per classroom|
|Middle & Secondary:||25 pupils per classroom and vocational module|
This nominal capacity forms a fixed base line capacity across the province. The Ministry allocates all other non-instructional school space (gymnasium size, office spaces, hallways, etc) based on this fixed base line capacity.
Modular classrooms were added to many school districts to accommodate Full Day Kindergarten. The Ministry of Education treats modular classrooms as permanent space, even though they may ultimately be relocated. When they are added to a school, such as Edith McDermott Elementary, an additional 20K will be added to the nominal capacity,
The nominal capacity may also be reduced if a classroom is used for an alternate approved educational program. A typical example is for a Strong Start Centre. If a classroom is not used and is removed from the educational space (e.g. a portable classroom or multi-purpose room) then no change would occur in the school nominal capacity.
As a more practical alternative and to accommodate adjustments in student capacity for the various grade structures (i.e. Grades K-3, K-5 or K-7 for elementary), the nominal capacity is adjusted to an operating capacity.
The Ministry has the following standard formula for these:
|Classroom student capacity:||Kindergarten (19)
Grades 1-3 (21)
Grades 4-7 (25)
|Grade structure:||K to 7|
|Average classroom 1-7 capacity:||23.29|
The operating capacity and nominal capacity may be the same value for most middle and secondary schools. For example, Garibaldi Secondary has both a nominal and operating capacity of 1050.
Conversion of Nominal Capacity to Operating Capacity
For example, Albion Elementary, at 20K + 450 would have an operating capacity of 438 students, calculated as follows:
|Kindergarten classrooms||1||= 19 capacity|
|Grade 1-7 classrooms (at 450/25 spaces per classroom)||18 x 23.29||= 419|
The Ministry’s designated nominal and operating capacities are used as a standard across the province, and are not mandated capacities. For new facilities, school boards determine their own operating capacities, based on local decisions, subject to the limits established by the School Act.