Kathleen Karpuk, Chair, Board of Education, School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson).

School District 73 budget focuses on students, growth, and improved educational outcomes

School District 73 says that continuing enrollment, growth, and increased funding for student support from the Ministry of Education has put SD73 in a position to better meet the district’s priorities to improve educational outcomes for all students.

SD73 Trustees were presented with the balanced budget for the 2019-2020 school year at the Monday, Apr. 29, Board meeting in Kamloops.

“We are the ninth fastest growing district in the province, and with growth comes opportunities,” said Kathleen Karpuk, Chair, Board of Education, School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson). We are re-opening a school, about to start a major expansion of Valleyview Secondary, and hiring additional staff to meet the needs of our diverse students. This budget reflects the strategic priorities of the Board of Education and demonstrates the District’s commitment to equity and excellence.

“There are significant demands on the education system and our parents and community expect us to prioritize our operating resources to meet the learning needs of students as well as to address crowded and aging facilities,” said Alison Sidow, Superintendent of School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson). “This budget was developed with these needs in mind.”

Key priorities that will be supported by the 2019-20 SD73 budget include:

• Improve student outcomes in numeracy

• Support student mental health and healthy relationships

• Improve Aboriginal student success

• Improving communication with employees, parents and public

• Improving facility utilization addressing student growth

SD73 says they will continue to hire teachers to ensure classroom size and composition requirements are met, and to accommodate growth. They also note that teacher-to-student ratios are now the lowest they have been in 20 years and the number of certified educational assistants employed by the district has risen to 242, a 30 per-cent increase since 2010.

In addition to more classroom teachers and 10 more CEAs, the district will also hire a principal, a custodian and a secretary for Westsyde Elementary as the school re-opens in September 2019.

An additional school and family consultant, and a healthy relationships coordinator will be hired supporting mental health and healthy relationships.

Other new positions include an assistant manager of operations to provide support to the evening custodians; a capital projects manager to plan and implement the growing number of district capital projects; and a web technician to support enhanced communications for parents, students, staff and the public.

Sidow noted next year’s budget will continue to accelerate improved educational outcome for students.

“We’ve met our goal of an 85 per-cent graduation rate for all our students, and now we are setting our sights on a 90 per-cent completion rate,” Sidow said. “Aboriginal graduation rates are also increasing and closing in on parity. All this shows that our investment of resources is moving us in the right direction.”

Key numbers in SD 73’s 2019-20 budget include:

• Total budget (including special purpose and capital funds) for the year is expected to be $181,902,362. This reflects additional funding from the government to cover increased payroll, and other costs related to the collective agreements.

• The annual operational payroll for the district is estimated to be $145,446,497.

• The number of teachers, support workers, principals and management staff employed by the District will rise by 11.45 per cent to 1,485.36 FTE employees.

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