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School meal programs, school supply purchasing expanded this year with new provincial cash

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
September 1st, 2022

The province is sinking over $500,000 into the local school system to help offset the costs of education.

A total of $553,554 will be given as one-time funding to School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) in order to help families struggling with rising costs of living due to global inflation.

Under the Student and Family Affordability Fund, the money will allow the school district to feed students and purchase the school supplies students need this year.

“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, in a press release.

The money is also expected to expand school meal programs in SD8 and cover any additional fees so that students in need can take part in activities, such as field trips.

“Districts will work with parent advisory councils and school communities, as well as local First Nations and other Indigenous organizations, regarding local priorities that will best meet the needs of diverse student populations,” Whiteside explained.

Independent as well

In addition to the $60 million for school districts, $3.8 million will be provided through the Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA) to support families with increasing costs and that access education through independent school authorities.

Kootenay Lake School ready for students

Students and families across School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) are getting ready for the new school year — adjusting to a new classroom or a new school, and joining their classmates at welcome assemblies and other back to school events on Tuesday, September 6.

“Our staff and educators are so happy to welcome our students back to each of our schools and programs from kindergarten to Grade 12,” said Trish Smillie, SD8 Superintendent.

“We have been working hard to ensure our classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and virtual spaces are places where students feel safe, nurtured and connected with others so they can focus, learn and excel

SD8 Board of Education Chair Lenora Trenaman would like to welcome students and families back to another school year on behalf of the Board of Education.

“The first day of school will be an exciting day for families, students and staff. It’s also an exciting day for trustees because as elected officials we are reminded of the 4,700 human reasons we advocate on behalf of students and families for high quality education across our district,” said Trenaman.

SD8 reminds families that instructional hours on Tuesday, September 6 include early dismissal times, with student bus transportation operating three hours early. Bell times vary at individual schools so families can contact their school for exact drop off and pick up times.

Anyone needing to register their child for school can contact their school principal.

All SD8 schools are listed on the district website at sd8.bc.ca/schools. Information about dismissal times, busing and principal contact information is on each school’s website.

A reminder that a new school year signals busy playgrounds and SD8’s yellow buses will be back on the road.

Drivers are asked to slow down, follow school zone speed limits and watch for children walking, cycling and crossing the street. Drivers are reminded to yield to school buses when they merge into traffic.

Categories: General