Red Deer Public welcomes federal money to address COVID-19 needs
Red Deer Public Schools welcomes the provincial announcement on distribution of federal funding that will help support COVID-19 needs across schools in the Division. In total, the provincial government is distributing $250 million to local school jurisdictions on a per student basis. Red Deer Public’s portion of those funds with 11,000 students is $3,921,750.
“We knew the Division would face significant costs related to COVID-19 and we are tracking all those numbers,” said Board Chair Nicole Buchanan. “We appreciate that the province distributed these funds leaving it to school jurisdictions to make the best use of the funding following federal guidelines. These are significant dollars and without those, we would have to utilize our limited reserve funds.”
Following federal conditions on the use of funds, Red Deer Public Schools will allocate funding to support COVID-19 related costs in staffing, adapting learning spaces, Personal Protective Equipment, cleaning and safety considerations as well as online learning. Specific allocation in these areas include:
- Personal Protective Equipment = $127,000
- Additional cleaning and caretaking supplies = $613,000
- Staffing and supports for at-home learning = $1.26 million
- Anticipated substitute costs related to COVID-19 illness and isolation of staff = $1.86 million
“The Division has worked diligently preparing for back to school. Over 90% of our students have returned to at-school learning which started September 1 with staggered entry of students. The remaining students will be supported with at-home learning. Initial response from students, parents and staff has been overwhelmingly positive. We salute our schools for being well prepared and excited to welcome students back,” said Buchanan.