Red Deer schools are getting an influx of federal funding to help them cover the additional costs of preventing COVID-19. (Black Press file photo).

Red Deer public, Catholic schools get $7.5 million in total from Ottawa to deal with COVID-19 costs

Additional cost of at-home learning, substitute teachers, PPEs factored in

Red Deer Public Schools is welcoming nearly $4 million in federal funding to help support COVID-19 prevention needs for staff and students.

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools is happy to get $3.5 million of the money being granted on a per-pupil basis, according to enrolment numbers.

In total, Ottawa is providing $250 million for Alberta school jurisdictions.

With 11,000 students, Red Deer Public Schools is getting $3,921,750, while Red Deer Catholic Schools, with 9,200 students, is receiving about half a million less.

“We are pleased that the federal government provided $3.5 million to our school division for COVID-19 relief,” said acting superintendent Kathleen Finnigan of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

She added the funds will be distributed according to need.

“Our senior administration is currently working diligently on a plan on how we will spend these dollars.”

Nicole Buchanan, chair of the public school board, said schools all face significantly higher costs related to COVID-19, so the federal money will close some funding gaps.

Buchanan added school divisions must use of the money to support COVID-19-related staffing costs, to adapt learning spaces (including online learning), and to buy protective equipment and cleaning supplies.

The public schools allocation includes spending $1.26 million on the extra staffing and supports for at-home learning.

According to district estimates, the anticipated substitute teaching cost related to COVID-19 illness and isolation of staff will equal $1.86 million.

Some $127,000 of the federal money will be spent on personal protective equipment, and $613,000 for additional cleaning and caretaking supplies.

Buchanan said, “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.”

She added the public school division has worked diligently in back-to-school preparations.

“Over 90 per cent of our students have returned to at-school learning, which started Sept. 1 with staggered entry of students…

“Initial response from students, parents and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Red Deer public schools

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

Just Posted

Canada’s Kennedy to yesterday’s man: former PM John Turner dead at 91

Politicians and other public figures immediately began sharing memories

Community art project will thank front line workers

Red Deerians are painting hearts to say thank you to frontline workers.… Continue reading

Vaping persists amongst Canadian youth

New survey into vaping habits of youth

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

The 2020 Global Business Forum in Banff, Alta., will be held as a special hybrid event

New tools, ideas needed to speed up housing strategy funding, CMHC president says

Slow turnaround time on some of its national housing strategy programs

Letter containing ricin sent to White House may have come from Canada: RCMP

The letter contained ricin, a toxic substance found naturally in castor beans

Nunavut reports first confirmed COVID-19 cases, saying both are mine workers

The territory says at this time, there is no evidence of transmission within site

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

The pandemic has shown how heavily Canada relies on migrant and undocumented workers

Wetaskiwin RCMP make arrests for Hit and Run to residence

Damage estimates are expected to be in excess of $20,000.

Former prime minister John Turner dead at 91

TORONTO — Former prime minister John Turner, whose odyssey from a “Liberal… Continue reading

Hay’s Daze: Happy to be left out of the picture

Talk about being out of the loop. Head in the sand. Uninformed,… Continue reading

Most Read