Saint Thomas Aquinas Roman (STAR) Catholic school division is receiving $1,571,500 from the federal government to help offset the cost of reopening schools during COVID-19.
The funding is part of $2 billion to support a safe return to school that was announced by the federal government earlier this month. Alberta schools are to receive $250 million.
STAR Catholic is facing “significant struggles” as it resumes in-person and online classes this fall, according to a Sept. 18 news release.
“We welcome this assistance from the federal government and appreciate that the province recognized the diverse needs of school jurisdictions and distributed dollars directly to divisions to make the best use of the funding,” said board chair Michelle Lamer in the release.
As per federal guidelines, STAR Catholic will use the funds for additional staffing and substitute teachers ($775,908), remote learning supports, staffing and materials ($471,800), transportation costs ($57,000), personal protective equipment ($12,040) and cleaning and sanitation supplies ($254,752).
“The funding will help ensure that our school communities remain the safe, successful, and positive spaces that our families expect and deserve,” said Lamer.
The division will receive the funding in two payments, expected at the end of September and in early 2021.
The federal funding was allocated according to student population. STAR Catholic School Division represents 12 schools in central Alberta communities, including Ponoka, Wetaskiwin and Lacombe.
September board briefs
Trustee Shaun Meaden has resigned. The board will continue with six members until the next general election in October, 2021.
Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Students
Trustees will present Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Students awards at their local schools this year while following public health measures.