School districts are the basic administrative units of the public school system. Large school districts or administrative units were first created after the Cameron Report in 1946. Before then, the province had been divided into over 800 separate school districts. Most of these were classified as Rural school districts . Each rural school district was responsible for operating a single one or two-room schoolhouse. The more populous areas of the province were divided into Municipal School Districts and City School Districts.
In 1946 nearly all of the existing school districts — rural, municipal and city — were consolidated into seventy-four (74) large administrative units. The new administrative units were assigned numbers and were defined geographically, but in the interests of tradition they were called school districts. Hence S.D. [School District] No. 39 (Vancouver), S.D. 61 (Greater Victoria), S.D. 68 (Nanaimo), etc.
Today (2009) there are fifty-nine (59) school districts in British Columbia, plus a Francophone Education Authority. For information about present-day school districts and schools within the districts, click here.
For information about public schools and definitions of school districts during the period 1869 to 1946 click here.