School District 27 received $547,562 from the provincial government.
In an effort to make school more affordable, the province set aside $60 million in the Student and Family Affordability Fund. The money is being split between all of B.C.’s 60 school districts with each district receiving a minimum of $250,000.
“Many families in B.C. are feeling the effects of global inflation on daily costs, including groceries, school supplies and other school expenses,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. “We’re taking action by providing more funding that school districts will use to help meet the needs of families and students.”
SD27 superintendent Chris van der Mark said the new funding was a welcome surprise for the District. He said the funding will help eliminate stress on families and students as well as foster education.
“To have the opportunity to find ways to support our students and families is good,” van der Mark said. “If this helps take some pressure off families so they can focus more on education, then this is going to be for the best.”
This one-time source of funding will be used by school districts to expand school meal programs, pay for extra school supplies and cover the costs of field trips for students. School districts have the authority to work with parental advisory groups, local First Nations and other interested parties to best meet the needs of their student populations.
The district still have to decide how they’ll spend the money said van der Mark, adding they plan to study the district’s food program and figure out what gaps could be filled with the funding.
With the start of the school year less than a week away, van der Mark said the district is busy getting organized. This summer, he said, they’ve undertaken a successful hiring blitz and are still looking to fill more teaching positions. van der Mark predicts enrollment will be up again this year and said it’s important they fill holes left by retirement.
“It’s an interesting challenge but our staff are still working hard on it here,” van der Mark said. “Schools and staff are always excited when the kids return.”