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Saint John Paul II Academy


Support the development of a Catholic Secondary School for the South Surrey and regional area.

A Catholic learning environment nourishes the development of the whole person. A well rounded education inspires the imagination, engages the spirit and cultivates the qualities essential for responsible citizenship, further academic pursuit and leadership.

Confidence is gained through challenges, guided growth and nurturing of the intellect, emotional development, spiritual depth and athletic prowess of the individual. Given the chance children have a natural affinity to learn more of their own humanity, empathy and social justice as they develop their critical thinking and moral compass. A Catholic education provides these opportunities for their growth.
As Catholics living in the South Surrey/White Rock and South Langley area we have reaped the benefits of our children excelling in our Catholic elementary school system.

Let’s show the fortuity and commitment to our faith and our children’s education by embracing the opportunity and making a Catholic High School in our Community a reality. Let our response to this challenge be one of kindness, teamwork and an example of commitment to our children and our faith. Together let’s build greater opportunity for the benefits of our youth and the future of our Catholic faith.

In 2014, the Pope expressed his firm belief that parents should have the right to choose a “moral and religious education for their children. He pointed out that in today’s ever-changing, technological world, our children are bombarded with so much information that it’s difficult to filter through it. Because of this, the Pope drove home the point that families and teachers must guide students to critical thinking and a moral compass”. That is exactly where a faith-based education comes in.


In keeping with the spirit of St. John Paul II and inspired by Pope Francis, there is an exciting initiative from the families of Good Shepherd Parish wanting to explore a partnership with the Archdiocese for a Catholic High School in the South Surrey, White Rock and South Langley area and make it reality.

In the last couple of months, Star of the Sea elementary parents have been collecting names of families who feel the urgency, and recognize the importance, of having their children continue their Catholic Education into their formative high school years. Initial response suggests that demand is strong.

The truth is that upon graduation from Star of the Sea, most students do not further their Catholic education either in their own community or any neighboring community. Of the sixty (60) children that recently graduated from Star of the Sea, only twenty (20) currently attend Catholic high schools. Previous years have shown similar results. The vast majority of our students continue their studies in public high schools without the critical guidance necessary to explore the Truth, Beauty and Goodness that is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. We need to do better.

While we recognize that parents are the primary educators of their children in the faith, we also acknowledge that the assistance of our Catholic schools is essential to this task.

We have been meeting with stakeholders in education, (public and private, faith-based and secular) in recent months to gain insights and consider best practices for the establishment of the model that will ultimately become “Saint John Paul II Academy”. We are continuing to meet regularly with Archbishop Miller, the Superintendent for Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA), and other key advisors to clarify direction and establish a vision for the project. In the months ahead, we will be formalizing a financing proposal and strategic plan for presentation to Archbishop Miller and the CISVA as we seek their continued support for the establishment of a new Catholic High School in South Surrey.


For many years, the Archdiocese has held property, with a view toward a future high school, in South Surrey. Recently, and providentially, nine (9) acres of land on 184th Street in Surrey were purchased with this continued vision in mind. With the help of the Holy Spirit, and the hope and enthusiasm of our parish families, the time is perhaps now to capitalize on this vision.

This vision also calls for financial energy and creativity. Due to a host of other substantial financial obligations and the ongoing support offered to existing schools, the Archdiocese is unable to finance the building of a new school to the extent that they would like and parish resources are stretched. Funding new high schools according to historical models is no longer feasible. These realities are compelling us to explore creative financial initiatives where investors and other groups partner with our parish and archdiocesan families in this worthy cause.

At present, every Catholic school in the province of British Columbia is designated as a “Category 1 Independent School”. As such, they do not exceed the per pupil operating costs of public schools in their district and they receive the maximum allowable 50% operational funding from the Ministry of Education. We are fully committed to achieving this same high standard as part of our commitment toward ensuring that Catholic education is accessible and affordable for our Catholic families. At the same time, we are committed to exploring new and creative ways of financing this endeavour and we recognize that a new Catholic High School will not be possible without the sacrificial financial commitment of parishioners and all participating families.

It is currently proposed that families of the new students be asked to put up a $25,000 bond/ family to generate the funds required to build the school. These bonds will be posted for the duration of their family attendance at the school and will be released upon graduation. In addition, we will be asking families to pledge money annually for capital campaigns in a concerted effort to get the full school built as soon as possible. As part of our commitment toward making Catholic education as universally attainable as possible, we fully intend to have tuition bursaries available for families who will require financial assistance.

Soon, we will be setting up a classic capital campaign and recruiting leaders amongst yourselves who will assist in engaging other parents at the grassroots level. Furthermore, we will be formulating an Advisory Committee that will assist us in our mission. We recognize that much work is yet to be done and many decisions, financial and otherwise, are yet to be made. Further details and communication will be made available to parents in the weeks and months ahead.

Of immediate urgency is the need to respond to recent and growing enthusiasm for starting a Grade 8 “legacy class” for September 2018. In previous successful models, Catholic high schools began by annexing to an existing elementary schools, using modular classroom buildings for a period of time, and availing of shared school and community resources while a new school was being built on a new location. While annexing to an existing facility, the first day of Grade 8 marks the beginning of a distinct and vibrant Catholic high school with its own staff, administration and governance. Similar options are being imagined for a beginning as early as September 2018. It is likely that a minimum of 46 committed families would be required to make such a legacy possible. There can only be one “legacy class” and one first graduating class of “Saint John Paul II Academy”. Educational history has shown that the excitement, enthusiasm and opportunity that accompanies a legacy class is rarely surpassed.


If you are interested in having your grade seven (7) child be part of the SJP2’s Legacy Class, please respond on line at ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE as soon as possible.

Additionally please watch for exciting overall updates to this new and important initiative.

Catholic schools are vital to the life of the Church and the Christian formation of our families. Let us advance happily and work together in the spirit of Christ.

Help us Build the Vision!

The success of the school is founded on the support of parents and caregivers. Your ideas will help craft the vision and define programs and amenities; tailoring the school to the needs and aspirations of our community.

Troy Van Vliet, Principal at Tavan Group, is one of the major driving forces behind a new Catholic school planned for 24 Avenue near 182 Street.

If you wish more information regarding the development of a Catholic Secondary School please contact:

Troy Van Vliet – 604.263.3026