Vision 2034 - Budget Engagement

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Contributions to this engagement are now closed. Have questions? You are welcome to email engage@fsd38.ab.ca.


The Foothills School Division (FSD) Board of Trustees approved the 2021-2022 Budget and 2021-2024 3-year Education Plan by resolution at the board meeting on June 16, 2021.

This approved Budget and Education Plan reflect the ongoing priorities identified by our school community and staff team. The Board of Trustees remain committed to ensuring that decisions continue to align and reflect the feedback received from our communities, including the Vision 2034 Engagement and current School Renewal Engagement.

Highlights of the 2021-2022 Budget and 2021-2024 Education Plan include:

  • Use of $4.1 million of operating reserves to ensure maintenance of classroom supports as we transition out of the pandemic.
    • Maintenance of teacher staffing levels across the Division as compared to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.
    • Maintenance of support staff staffing levels across the Division as compared to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year:
      • Including maintenance of all permanent education assistant and youth development coach positions for the 2020-2021 school year.
      • Increase of one full time Family School Liaison Counsellor.
  • A request to the Minister to allow FSD to transfer $500,000 from capital reserves to operational reserves to offset an increase of $1.5 million in property insurance costs - a 300% increase in the last two years.
  • Increased benefit costs (7.85%) across the Division with no equivalent funding increases from Alberta Education.
  • Decrease in student enrolment projections (1.9%) forecasting a reduction in funding in upcoming years.
  • Maintenance of enhanced cleaning for the first half of the school year:
    • We have committed to supporting day time custodians to continue with enhanced cleaning protocols for the first 4 months of the school year to support a safe school renewal and recovery.
    • We have also committed to continuing some additional cleaning of high touch surfaces during after school hours for 2021-2022 school year to support a safe school renewal and recovery.
  • Priorities and themes identified in our Vision 2034 stakeholder engagement included Learning Experiences, Learning for Transfer, Wellness and Wellbeing and Learning Competencies. These areas of focus informed the goals and strategies in our 2021-2024 Education Plan including:
    • Advance innovation and design
    • Advance learning for transfer
    • Advance First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success
    • Advance literacy and numeracy
    • Advance wellness and well-being
    • Advance our continuum of supports
    • Advance stakeholder engagement and communications
    • Advance evidence-based continuous improvement and assurance
  • Continuation and modification of CPIP (Classroom Practice Innovative Projects) grant funding up to a total of $50,000 for all approved projects to be drawn from Operational Reserves for one year.
  • Increased flexibility in learning experiences
    • Implementation of Full Time Kindergarten program at 4 schools across the Division - Dr. Morris Gibson School, Big Rock School, C. Ian McLaren School and Spitzee School.
    • Nature Based Learning alternative program launch at École Percy Pegler School from kindergarten to grade 6
    • Continuation of the Hub@Home online school for Grades 1-12, providing a flexible online learning opportunity for our students
  • Introduction of Innovation and Design Facilitator to advance our goal of innovation and design and support the Innovation and Design Framework and the Career Futures implementation across the Division.
  • School Renewal Committee strategies embedded in the Education Plan 2021-2024 provide overall direction for system planning for post pandemic education and continuity of learning:
    • Mental health supports for students and staff
    • Addressing potential gaps in learning
    • Socio-emotional learning competencies
    • Renewing school culture - sports, athletics, clubs, fine arts
    • Supporting and creating opportunities to renew connections and professional relationships
    • Equity in education
    • Celebrating resiliency and successes
    • Continuing to provide timely and transparent communications

Board Chair Larry Albrecht says, “This is once again a unique budget year requiring a commitment to maintaining student classroom and school support despite increased costs across the Division. Though the Provincial Government maintained funding this year compared to last, we have lost $2.8 million dollars in federal/provincial COVID support as well as an increase in costs that have not been funded. We are confident this budget and the Three-Year Education Plan provide Foothills School Division students and staff the resources and flexibility to continue to experience quality learning in our safe and caring learning environment.”

Chris Fuzessy, Superintendent of Schools says, “Within the Foothills School Division, we are continuing preparations for a safe and welcoming return to post pandemic education in all of our schools. Staff team and family voice in this process continues to be welcome and can be found on our engagement website."


---


Foothills School Division has heard from our families and staff team that our current focus should remain on health, well-being, and high quality learning.

We require your feedback as we work to align these priorities with our budget. It's important to note key funding changes from prior years:

  • Staffing Levels
  • Custodial Services
  • School Bus Transportation
  • Insurance Costs

We would also like your feedback on two innovation documents that will continue to guide our work in Vision 2034 and our 3 year Education Plan, 2021-2024.


The Foothills School Division (FSD) Board of Trustees approved the 2021-2022 Budget and 2021-2024 3-year Education Plan by resolution at the board meeting on June 16, 2021.

This approved Budget and Education Plan reflect the ongoing priorities identified by our school community and staff team. The Board of Trustees remain committed to ensuring that decisions continue to align and reflect the feedback received from our communities, including the Vision 2034 Engagement and current School Renewal Engagement.

Highlights of the 2021-2022 Budget and 2021-2024 Education Plan include:

  • Use of $4.1 million of operating reserves to ensure maintenance of classroom supports as we transition out of the pandemic.
    • Maintenance of teacher staffing levels across the Division as compared to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.
    • Maintenance of support staff staffing levels across the Division as compared to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year:
      • Including maintenance of all permanent education assistant and youth development coach positions for the 2020-2021 school year.
      • Increase of one full time Family School Liaison Counsellor.
  • A request to the Minister to allow FSD to transfer $500,000 from capital reserves to operational reserves to offset an increase of $1.5 million in property insurance costs - a 300% increase in the last two years.
  • Increased benefit costs (7.85%) across the Division with no equivalent funding increases from Alberta Education.
  • Decrease in student enrolment projections (1.9%) forecasting a reduction in funding in upcoming years.
  • Maintenance of enhanced cleaning for the first half of the school year:
    • We have committed to supporting day time custodians to continue with enhanced cleaning protocols for the first 4 months of the school year to support a safe school renewal and recovery.
    • We have also committed to continuing some additional cleaning of high touch surfaces during after school hours for 2021-2022 school year to support a safe school renewal and recovery.
  • Priorities and themes identified in our Vision 2034 stakeholder engagement included Learning Experiences, Learning for Transfer, Wellness and Wellbeing and Learning Competencies. These areas of focus informed the goals and strategies in our 2021-2024 Education Plan including:
    • Advance innovation and design
    • Advance learning for transfer
    • Advance First Nations, Métis and Inuit student success
    • Advance literacy and numeracy
    • Advance wellness and well-being
    • Advance our continuum of supports
    • Advance stakeholder engagement and communications
    • Advance evidence-based continuous improvement and assurance
  • Continuation and modification of CPIP (Classroom Practice Innovative Projects) grant funding up to a total of $50,000 for all approved projects to be drawn from Operational Reserves for one year.
  • Increased flexibility in learning experiences
    • Implementation of Full Time Kindergarten program at 4 schools across the Division - Dr. Morris Gibson School, Big Rock School, C. Ian McLaren School and Spitzee School.
    • Nature Based Learning alternative program launch at École Percy Pegler School from kindergarten to grade 6
    • Continuation of the Hub@Home online school for Grades 1-12, providing a flexible online learning opportunity for our students
  • Introduction of Innovation and Design Facilitator to advance our goal of innovation and design and support the Innovation and Design Framework and the Career Futures implementation across the Division.
  • School Renewal Committee strategies embedded in the Education Plan 2021-2024 provide overall direction for system planning for post pandemic education and continuity of learning:
    • Mental health supports for students and staff
    • Addressing potential gaps in learning
    • Socio-emotional learning competencies
    • Renewing school culture - sports, athletics, clubs, fine arts
    • Supporting and creating opportunities to renew connections and professional relationships
    • Equity in education
    • Celebrating resiliency and successes
    • Continuing to provide timely and transparent communications

Board Chair Larry Albrecht says, “This is once again a unique budget year requiring a commitment to maintaining student classroom and school support despite increased costs across the Division. Though the Provincial Government maintained funding this year compared to last, we have lost $2.8 million dollars in federal/provincial COVID support as well as an increase in costs that have not been funded. We are confident this budget and the Three-Year Education Plan provide Foothills School Division students and staff the resources and flexibility to continue to experience quality learning in our safe and caring learning environment.”

Chris Fuzessy, Superintendent of Schools says, “Within the Foothills School Division, we are continuing preparations for a safe and welcoming return to post pandemic education in all of our schools. Staff team and family voice in this process continues to be welcome and can be found on our engagement website."


---


Foothills School Division has heard from our families and staff team that our current focus should remain on health, well-being, and high quality learning.

We require your feedback as we work to align these priorities with our budget. It's important to note key funding changes from prior years:

  • Staffing Levels
  • Custodial Services
  • School Bus Transportation
  • Insurance Costs

We would also like your feedback on two innovation documents that will continue to guide our work in Vision 2034 and our 3 year Education Plan, 2021-2024.

Staffing

Our school community should be aware that FSD recently received emergency federal and provincial COVID-19 funding. These dollars were used to hire additional school-based Educational Assistant & Teacher positions.

We have been informed this pandemic funding will no longer be available. However, the Division is required to reduce reserve levels to 3.1% prior to June 2023. Foothills School Division recognizes the value of these additional employees and is committed to maintaining current staffing levels with these reserve funds.

In September 2023, when reserve and pandemic funding will no longer be available, families should expect staffing to revert back to pre-existing levels.

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Add in your comments or concerns regarding our approach to maintain staffing levels below.

Please note that the name you select will be visible with your comment, if you wish to remain anonymous simply type in "Anonymous" as your name.  The email provided will remain private and will only be used to notify you of a response or reply.




CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

The staffing of additional education assistants and teachers needs to be maintained as has been a wonderful experience. The next few years I think there will be some fall out from the online learning and we will need to be able to work with the kids that may have missed more than the normal number of concepts due to being online.

I also have some thought regarding the services provided by providence (speech, ot and pt). I have found the level of expertise of the speech services to be directly diminished as compared to previous years. This has caused teaching staff to be less comfortable and able to support my sons learning challenges. Staff has been referring families to FSCD. The services have not been able to support my son (especially as he has often been placed online). They have provided no direction or correspondence with the family. I know that the behavior services are hired directly by the school board this might be a better solution to provide all services. In looking to reduce budgeting cost this would also be a way of reducing costs. The ability to have specialists on salary is often cheaper than contracting the same services out and can insure that the level of support is of the same quality as the education being provided.

Mom 4 months ago

We agree with returning to pre-covid levels

Ron 4 months ago

Maintaining and increasing the number of teachers needs to be a main priority for the division. Increased class sizes and being asked to deal with the severe mental health issues so many students present with is becoming more and more difficult. Or, maintain teacher levels and increase true access to psychology within the current system.

Anonymous 4 months ago

I am willing to pay more in school fees to ensure that staffing levels are at an adequate level to support our children.

Mom 4 months ago

We need to ensure that we keep class sizes as small as possible. It helps kids learn more effectively. We also need to support all our learning as there are gaps in their learning created by the interruptions in learning. This is seen in different ways across all grades but is felt none the less

Ryan 4 months ago

It is important to move as much staff into the schools as possible so we have the lowest ratio of kids to adults. Right now, I feel, there are too many people at division office who do not affect student learning effectively.

KERRI 5 months ago

This year, most schools had smaller classes and support staff available to those who need it. Because of this, most students were able to cope with the fluctuation to online and in class learning. I understand that hopefully won't be the case in the future but having smaller classes and support staff has made a big impact in learning. Too many kids fall through the cracks because there isn't enough time in the day for teachers to catch all learning issues and be able to support them. Staffing should not be cut. Kids need all the help they can get.

Anonymous 5 months ago

I think as we attempt to catch our kiddos up in the next couple years, it is IMPERATIVE that we have enough staff to support the kiddos basic learning. That is their learning of reading/writing and basic math skills. Usually, that would mean grades 1-3, but I think we also need to consider the grades 4-5 who have been affected in their basic learning with online learning and Covid restrictions.
The staff also needs to have good evidence based understanding, knowledge and skills on how to teach reading/writing and basic math skills. So though this thread is about staffing, I’d like to plant a seed that along with our concept based understanding, we also include science/evidence based professional development so we all know what’s wiser practice for ALL students and how to BEST help our kiddos who have been through the ringer these past couple years. <3

Annie 5 months ago