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Supporting students and families: our Affordability Fund plan

On August 29th, 2022 the Provincial Government announced the creation of a one time Student and Family Affordability Fund, intended to support BC kids and families affected by recent inflation and cost of living challenges. In New Westminster this investment means we’ll receive almost $700,000 to provide targeted support for kids and families in our district.

In building our New Westminster plan, we have engaged with and will continue to engage with students, parents, and the Indigenous Advisory Committee, as we ensure that the money is equitably distributed and invested in ways that will benefit all families, while also taking into consideration where some families in our community may need more support than others.

Our approach, and the allocated funding, has been broken into three main categories of funding:

  1. Universal Fees and Fundraising (benefiting all families, determined school-by-school)
    Every family has been affected by inflation as we look to the costs of school supplies, groceries and more. That’s why each school has consulted with their individual stakeholders as they determined how to allocate these funds at a school-based level. This may include options to offset cost of living increases, it may be used to cover a fee that would normally be fundraised for (like a fieldtrip or a school-wide activity) or another possible option that’s best-suited for your school community.
  2. Nutrition (benefiting some families)
    We’re investing in our lunch and breakfast programs at our schools, to ensure that no student starts or ends their school day feeling hungry and unprepared to learn.
  3. Local customized supports (benefiting individual families, determined on an as-needed basis)
    Each school has been allocated funding to support the targeted needs of the individual students and families they work with. Parents and guardians who are feeling pressured by recent spikes in inflation are encouraged to connect with your school’s principal to determine if there are supports that could benefit your child’s basic needs and well-being, as we work to remove barriers and make sure every student is ready and able to learn.

If you have any further questions about this funding, I encourage you to reach out to your school principal to discuss.

Thanks for your participation as we work to support our community in equitable and meaningful ways,
Karim Hachlaf
Superintendent of Schools / CEO

 

PDF: Superintendent letter outlining Student and Family Affordability Fund framework

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