Administration offices for the Central Okanagan School District. (File photo)

Administration offices for the Central Okanagan School District. (File photo)

Central Okanagan School District welcomes funding help

District will receive initial $4.1 million installment this month for staffing, technology and health safety initiatives

Federal funding will help alleviate the financial stress points in the Central Okanagan School District’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as classes resuming on Sept. 10.

Education Minister Rob Fleming confirmed Thursday that funding previously announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would be divided up among B.C.’s school districts on a student per capita basis with school boards given initial autonomy to spend on remote learning and in-class staffing, technology and school safety measures.

For the Central Okanagan School District, that will mean an initial $4.1 million disbursement, with a second of equal amount anticipated for January 2021.

Kevin Kaardal, school district superintendent/CEO, said the funding boost was anticipated but was still a relief to see confirmed.

“It will support us in what we are trying to do for remote learning, in-class instruction and further enhance our safety procedures,” Kaardal said.

READ MORE: Remote learning option poses potential risk for Central Okanagan students

He said how that spending will specifically break down will be decided by the board of education at some point this month.

Kaardal explained the district anticipates about a 99 per cent in-class registration based on school principals’ responses from parents, with about 200 students expected to be enrolled in remote learning, the eSchoolBC program option enhanced by the school district for this fall.

Parents will have until Nov. 13 to decide whether to place their kids back in class or leave them in a remote program, which will place them fourth in priority for getting back into their catchment school for the 2021-22 school year.

Kaardal said the Nov. 13 date gives students and teachers a chance to settle in for the remainder of the school year with no further student return disruptions.

He said the catchment school return policy reflects a reality of waitlists that exist for some students to attend schools outside their catchment area because their catchment area school is full.

It is an equity issue for the school district, Kaardal said, as it’s hard to justify holding a spot in a full capacity school for a student in remote learning while another sits on an enrolment waitlist.

“We have tried to come up with a policy that is fair to everyone. We are trying to give everyone the chance to feel safe about sending their kids back to class,” he said.

The safety of staff and students remains a guiding principle for the school district and “we have upped our game to make sure we reduce any risk,” Kaardal added.

“The tireless response from our staff, our leaders and managers has been incredible in planning (reopening of schools),” he said.

“Some of our staff have given up their holidays this summer to ensure we are prepared to face the school year, our trustees have given up a bunch of their time this summer with many extra meetings….to provide guidance and listen to the community so it’s been a real team effort.”

“There is still much to do to yet as we begin as our plans become operational so we just ask for patience from everyone. Safety is our number one priority in terms of the pandemic and the health and wellbeing of our students both from a health and education perspective.”

READ MORE: School district hopes federal funding can be spent on remote learning option

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
UBCO introduces another reading break in November

The break only affects the Okanagan campus

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

All Regional District of Central Okanagan residents receiving curbside garbage/recycling collection will also benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks as of March 1, 2021. The program runs until the end of December. (Black Press file photo)
Central Okanagan residents to benefit from yard waste pickup

Will happen every two weeks until end of December

Photo: Dave Ogilvie
Taxi involved in 3 vehicle crash in West Kelowna

The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. Monday

High Road at Clifton Road. Google.
City of Kelowna takes High Road pump station above ground

Work will begin this week on the Skyline Pump Station

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith of Grand Forks, put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland in early February

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

The Vernon Public Art Gallery's new Regional Reach program which sends supplies and lessons to classes, has been a hit in the North Okanagan classrooms. (VPAG photo)
Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Art Gallery’s new Regional Reach program delivers art education to the classrooms

A kaleidescope of colours was captured over Lake Country Sunday, Feb. 28. (Wendey Innes-Shaw photo)
Colourful close to month with North Okanagan sunset

From all angles: Vernon and Lake Country photographers capture sunset Feb. 28

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

City council passed resolution in support of an expansion of the licence area at Salmon Arm’s Marionette Winery for the inclusion of a lounge area. (Marionette Winery/Facebook)
Salmon Arm council supports lounge addition at Shuswap winery

Marionette Winery expanding licence area to host small gatherings

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

An injured skier was helivaced from Apex Mountain Resort to Kelowna General Hospital Monday, March, 2021. (Linda Geggie / Facebook)
Injured skier helivaced from Apex Mountain Resort

The skier was taken to Kelowna General Hospital

Most Read