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Budget 2021-22 Update

Budget 2021- 22 Update

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 Planincluding: 
    • 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."

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