Budget Update for 2023-24 School Year
First, our appreciation: thank you to the almost 1000 people who took time to share their feedback and thoughts with us about the proposed 2023-24 school year budget consultation process – through surveys, public meetings and stakeholder engagement sessions that have been hosted over the last few months. The collective feedback we’ve received on the work we’ve been doing, and on the priorities ahead, have all helped inform the plans laid out within the Superintendent’s Recommendations. Those recommendations have now been presented, debated and were passed this week at a Special Open Meeting of the Board of Education.
In case you missed the meeting, we wanted to provide you with key highlights of the work we’ll be doing next year, that will build on our current teaching and learning supports for students and staff. In addition to the staffing and facility investments required to directly support existing classrooms and enrollment growth, we have identified a few key areas where we can shift funding and almost $870,000 of new priority funds required to better support the work we’re committed to. As laid out within the Superintendent’s Recommendations for the 2023-24 school year, that includes these considerations and investments:
- Stable learning conditions require stable staffing and classroom coverage. That’s why we’re investing in these three solutions:
- Building on this year’s successful introduction of priority (full-time, committed) Teacher Teaching On Call and Educational Assistant roles, we’ll be adding five additional new Priority TTOC positions and five additional new Priority EA positions to the existing priority teaching and support staffing,
- We are We’re increasing the Vice Principal time allocated for Lord Kelvin Elementary, so we can better support the needs of that growing school, and
- We are creating six new EA lunch relief positions that will allow us to better provide more seamless care to our learners with diverse needs, which will also serve to assist supervision during nutrition and lunch break at our larger school sites.
- Mental health continues to be a priority we know is important to all of us. Building on investments over the last few years, we’ll be adding another full time counsellor to the growing team working in our schools.
- New Westminster Secondary is one of the largest high schools in the province, with needs very specific to the growing community and school. In the coming year these investments will help address the identified work that needs to happen:
- Additional supervision at NWSS, utilizing skilled Child Youth Care Workers,
- Funds targeted to allow for privacy and safety upgrades, and
- The creation of a new Director of Secondary Programs, who can directly support the existing administrative team leading the school.
- We continue to be invested in helping remove barriers that students, staff and families face in our schools and community. Next year’s budget includes continued and expanded options to provide nutritional support to kids who need it, expanded support for Indigenous Education (e.g. new resources, a new facilitator role to support the rollout of the province’s new Indigenous Education grad requirement, etc.), and continued investments and work done to address diversity, equity and inclusion as we make sure our schools are safe and welcoming spaces for everyone in them.
- And we’re investing in our own growth, as we put aside $150,000 to grow the capital savings required to address current and upcoming expansion needs.
The 2023-24 School Year budget, as approved by the Board on Tuesday night, represents almost $106 million of investments into our schools and into the communities of people they support. We’re proud of how this work continues to grow and build on the strategies and decisions of previous years, as we also ensure that we’re secure in our ability to adapt as we look forward. You can find more details about next year’s proposed budget here: https://newwestschools.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Agenda-Package-OPPC_Jun06_2023.pdf
Thank you for your input as we continue to work together to make our schools work for everyone in them.