Board approves plan to provide additional financial support for students and families

Posted On Thursday September 29, 2022

The Kamloops Thompson Board of Education is taking steps to implement a plan providing $1.6 million in additional financial support for students and families. 

The funding is the District’s share of a one-time $60 million Student and Family Affordability Fund (SFAF) announced in August by the Ministry of Education and Child Care. 

District staff have consulted with school principals and community groups to help determine the best way to distribute its share of the funds to students and families. These groups are the Aboriginal Education Council (AEC), the Indigenous Family Voices for Education (IFVE), and the District Parents Advisory Council (DPAC).

At its regular meeting September 26, 2022, the Board received the consultation results, the process to access the funds and the initial allocations based on known and predicted needs. 

“The District has received $1,656,248, in the recognition that families are struggling with rising food costs and costs for a range of goods and services due to the impacts of inflation,” said Heather Grieve, Board Chair for School District No. 73. “It supports existing policies and our ongoing commitment to ensure no student is denied because of financial need the opportunity to participate in education programs approved by the Board.”

The District is improving the process to access this fund, based on feedback from AEC, IFVE and DPAC in a way that is trauma informed by ensuring all school staff are informed, and by providing multiple ways to complete a Student Financial Assistance Form. This includes sending an email to a chosen staff member such as an Aboriginal Education Worker, a principal, or a counsellor; or completing the form with a band education contact or a social worker; or calling a preferred contact at their children’s school to ask for assistance; or completing the form themselves and in person. 

Representatives for the AEC, IFVE, DPAC, Parent Advisory Councils and the Ministry of Children and Family Development will also share the District’s messaging regarding the fund with families. In addition, this information will be sent to families through the District website, school websites, and District and school newsletters.  

“This process supports our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan by supporting learning opportunities and environments which inspire students to thrive in a way that helps them feel safe,” said Rhonda Nixon, SD73 Superintendent. “That means meeting students’ basic and essential needs such as access to food and supporting their ability to take part in curricular and extracurricular educational activities designed to nurture their intellectual, social, personal, cultural, and career development.” 

“We are grateful for the insights and feedback gained through the consultation process with our principals and community groups,” said Vessy Mochikas, Assistant Superintendent, Inclusion. “It means the funding will be more effective in reaching the students and families most in need of support.”

The estimated initial allocations, based on known/predicted needs, are:

  • $100,000 Starfish backpack programs - expanded to students and during school breaks
  • $300,000 School Supplies
  • $300,000 Field trips, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
  • $500,000 Breakfast, snack and lunch programs/meals
  • Contingency Funds allocated to schools - $456,248

The funding will be used to provide more food and snacks made available to classes in a universal way, so that any student needing food has access to it, including at the end of the day. This is especially helpful in the morning, if students who arrive to school late may have missed breakfast, and in the afternoon, as students may have up to five hours between lunch and dinner. You can link to the Student Financial Assistance Form here.


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