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Catholic board makes $21 million investment into safe re-start program

September 19, 2020   ·   0 Comments

In order to make the start of the school year as safe as possible, the York Catholic District School Board has approved an investment of nearly $21 million for additional teachers and facility improvements.

The York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB) approved their safe reopening budget at a meeting held September 1 and the budget incorporates $11.6 million in new funding from the Ministry of Education and a further $9 million from the YCDSB’s reserve funds.

“This critical investment of almost $21 million was approved with the health, safety and mental wellbeing of our students, families and staff at the forefront of all our minds,” said Maria Marchese, Chair of the YCDSB Board of Trustees. “As we prepared for the upcoming school year, our Board was determined to explore additional ways to support the safe reopening of our schools. We are pleased to invest $9 million from our Board’s reserve funds, along with the $11.6 million we received from the Ministry of Education.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank the Ministry of Education for their continued support through this additional funding. These additional investments will provide families with the confidence to know that we remain committed to supporting student success in a safe, caring, faith-filled environment.

Added Mary Battista, Interim Director of Education: “We are extremely grateful to the Board of Trustees for this investment to support the safe reopening of our schools. I would also like to thank our dedicated staff team for their work in putting our comprehensive school re-entry plan together. Whether students are returning to in-person face-to-face instruction or participating in remote learning, we are confident that we are doing all we can to create a safe environment for students to learn and grow.”

Included in the YCDSB investments are $8.54 million to hire a minimum of 76 full time educators “to help alleviate class size pressures,” $2.7 million to improve ventilation and air quality in facilities, $2 million to hire additional lunchtime supervisors, $1.5 million to “address transportation-related service adjustments,” $1.5 million for PPE, $1.8 million to improve resources and capacity for remote learning, and $1.3 million for additional custodial staff for increased and enhanced cleaning.

The investment in increasing resources for remote learning breaks down into $500,000 to increase schools’ broadband networks and $1.3 million for dedicated principals and administrators to support remote learning.

By Brock Weir



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