Red Deer Public Schools has committed $700,000 for COVID-19 recovery to build on the work done last year in literacy and numeracy.
“This funding will be used to provide a literacy and numeracy intervention program, to support students in Grades 1 to 3, and address any lags in their learning and achievement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Della Ruston, associate superintendent of learning services, in a statement.
“The Government of Alberta has provided funding for learning loss for students in Grades 2 to 4. Our board has gone above and beyond the government-provided funding as we want to do everything possible to ensure each and every student reaches their full academic potential.”
Alberta students are required to complete mandatory assessments in Grades 2 and 3 in September, and Grade 1 students are assessed in January. Data collected identifies students who have fallen behind in literacy and numeracy due to the pandemic.
Red Deer Public says the additional funding provided by the school board allows for those students to get small group support by trained staff for 30 minutes a day over a period of time.
Last school year, the board committed $1 million for COVID-19 recovery which saw more than 500 students from Grades 2 to 7 improve their numeracy and literacy skills.
“This initiative has had a significantly positive impact on our students, and we believe will continue to help our students get back on track and mitigate the impact of the pandemic,” Ruston said.
Board chair Nicole Buchanan said the board recognizes the importance of supporting learning gaps in students as we continue to move through recovery from the pandemic.
“Our priorities at Red Deer Public Schools are literacy and numeracy, equity and student success and completion. The board’s $700,000 commitment to COVID-19 recovery aligns with all of these priorities,” Buchanan said.
“We need to ensure our students are learning to read so that they can read to learn as they progress through not only their education journey with Red Deer Public, but throughout their journey beyond grade school. In supporting our students through this initiative, we are setting them up to reach their fullest potential.”