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Federal COVID-19 funding for SD46

Federal COVID-19 funding for SD46

The federal government provided an influx of $578,000 into School District #46s budget on Sept. 3. A second round of federal money to help offset increased education costs related to COVID-19 is to be distributed to school districts later this year.
Superintendent Patrick Bocking said that SD46 plans to work with its partners, including employee unions and parent advisory committees, to determine the best use of these funds. He said the results of a parent survey conducted by the District in June would also be considered.
Adjustments to the District’s 2020/21 budget require board approval. The next board meeting is slated for Sept. 9.
The money comes from the over $2 billion the federal government announced it would give to help provinces and territories safely re-open their schools and economies. In making that announcement on Aug. 26, Prime Minister Trudeau indicated that the funds were to be directed to protect students and staff and, in turn, their families from COVID-19. Suggested uses include adapted classroom spaces, improved ventilation, more hygiene supplies, and the purchase of extra personal protective equipment for in-school use.
The new school year begins for students on Sept. 10. Bocking said as of Sept. 4, over 90 percent of student parents or guardians had advised the District that they planned to send their children back to classrooms full-time or in transition to full-time. About two-thirds of impacted parents provided this information through a late August online survey. Input from others was assembled through District staff contact with the parents via telephone.
Bocking said that those opting for a gradual transition back to classroom learning will be provided with resources to aid at-home study. He anticipates these packages will contain textbooks and worksheets as well as references to online resources but are not intended to be a full year distance education option.
Connie Jordison

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