About Us - Strategic Planning - Finance

Finance

Building objectives into finance is about determining priorities … about making sure that once the basics are covered, the results we want to achieve in every department are funded in ways to help us all achieve those goals together. And we use those responsible, strategic choices across every department to make sure we continue to support and improve on the experiences of students, staff and our greater community.

DISTRICT GOAL: Be Unwavering in our commitment to improve student success

Objectives Key Results
Resource allocation in the budget process will align to learning priorities. The most important objective with respect to finance is ensuring allocations within our operating budget support the learning priorities set forward by the Board of Education. The finance department plays a supporting role to the learning objectives we set for students. In order to create robust learning programs, they must be appropriately resourced.

To do this, we have frequent internal discussions with our learning team who guide many of the resourcing decisions. These resourcing decisions are aligned with the Board’s strategic plan which has been informed by an extensive public consultation process.

Specific to the current year, the district is navigating a difficult financial (and academic year) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The district anticipates a deficit for this operating year and the work in the current year is to mitigate the deficit. This means:

    • Utilizing special funding grants in the most efficient way possible
    • Being acutely aware of all changes in the district as they pertain to staffing (which is fluid this year) and the various requirements for stages of the education restart plan
    • Working with departments to reprioritize areas of focus in their budgets to adjust to the changes created by the pandemic
    • Ensuring areas such as technology and learning resources are appropriately resourced to be able to carry out the critical work to support the different learning structures
    • Having to pivot continuously based on an ever-changing environment and check in with departments to ensure consistency and alignment more than we ever have.
Classrooms will be provisioned with goods and services at the best price, quality and least environmental impact. Once the budget has been set, the finance team works to ensure the district is able to obtain the best quality product which supports student learning and price, which ensures public funds are utilized as efficiently as possible. The district seeks out the most environmentally friendly options available and if possible, those that can be locally sourced.

To do this we will:

    • Utilize our team of experienced purchasers who follow the administrative procedures surrounding purchasing.
    • Where possible, we utilize Focus Education Resources which is an entity designed to leverage the collective influence of the K-12 education sector to achieve better services and products from vendors in support of delivering education to students in BC.
    • As necessary, enter in to requests for proposals to ascertain the best pricing for the needs identified to various vendors.
    • Adhere to partner deadlines and support requests from partners, including suppliers.
    • Build and maintain positive relationships with suppliers to advance best price and product objective

In 2020-21 a catalogue for IT related equipment will be launched which will create consistency in computer technology across sites. A similar catalogue will be created for standard classroom furniture such as student and teacher desk and chairs.

In this year in particular, additional technology, health and safety and learning resources and supports have to be provided to schools or distributed learning centres. Work is ongoing and will continually be adjusted throughout the year.

DISTRICT GOAL: Maintain Financial Accountability, transparency and stability

Objectives Key Results
Inclusive annual budget process which encompasses students, staff, families and community To ensure we allocate financial resources to what matters most, we gather feedback from students, staff, family and communities to better understand how we can best meet their needs as well as ensure continued alignment with our strategic plan.

In recent years, we have implemented the following methods to engage stakeholders:

    • “Student voice” which allows students to participate in education committee meetings and bring issues forward
    • Student Symposium
    • Launch the Thought Exchange platform to collect parent, community, staff and student feedback
    • Hosting the annual “talking tables” session which include students, parents, staff from both union groups and administrators

The District will continue to engage in consultation/information sessions for stakeholders to participate in for the upcoming budget season.

Parents will have secure access to on-line payments and custom forms to be confident in data and resource security Student-led fundraisers for field-trips and other special events happen frequently, as do donations and payments for various extra-curricular fees. To protect parent’s/guardian’s money, the District wants to provide secure access to online payments such that resources remain secure.

The District has launched KEV Schools Cash Online and has received a positive participation rate to date of over 90%. The target of full family participation across sites is 100%.

The KEV system also allows for the completion of forms for fieldtrips and consents which ensures confidential data security of information.

Delivered by: June 30, 2020

Staff will have access to customer service standards As a finance department, we service the business needs of the District – whether it be payroll, payables, purchasing or budgets. The finance function performs many core business functionalities of the organization. We believe that for staff to do their jobs effectively, that finance can play a key role to streamline process to allow more time to focus on students.

We want to strive for

    • excellence and reduce any errors staff may observe on paycheques
    • ensure invoices or expense reimbursements are completed on a timely basis
    • school and department budgets that appropriately address the goals and objectives for the year

We will achieve this through putting out a staff-wide survey to canvas feedback on the finance department (completed) and take this feedback to better understand the bottlenecks in our system to make further improvements.

We will also achieve this though ensuring staff have access to relevant, clear procedures and processes.

We will have monthly HR/Payroll meetings to discuss areas of concern impacting both departments (who make up the business side of the district) and work together to solve issues together to create a seamless experience for our staff (our customers).

Delivered by: Ongoing

DISTRICT GOAL: Staff are supported and encouraged to find purpose and meaning in their work and to reach their full potential

Objectives Key Results
Finance staff will be committed to learning through professional development Given the technical aspects of our jobs in finance, it is critical to ensure skills are maintain and updated through professional development of staff.

We will achieve this through consultation with finance staff members on wat courses are required to keep requisite designations or credentials current. We will allocate budget resources annually.

Delivered by: Ongoing

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The FAQ’s on schools, COVID protocols and more

You have questions. Here are the answers. (And if you can't find it here, send us an email and we'll add to this page through the year.) more

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