Northern Lights Public Schools is investing 2.4 million dollars into mental health initiatives, digital connectivity, infrastructure and more.
The division is taking the funds out of their reserves and focusing on areas in line with their Three – Year Education Plan.
“We listened to all of our stakeholders when we developed our Three – Year Education Plan and our priorities reflect the input we received,” said Board Chair Mandi Skogen. “When the Board committed to those priorities, we recognized that our support had to go beyond simply setting a focus for the division; we needed to make a financial investment that would ensure the resources were in place to support those priorities and ensure consistency in schools throughout the division.”
The three priorities identified in the division’s Three – Year Education Plan were: Literacy and Numeracy; Communication, Engagement and Partnerships ; and Health and Wellness. Funds have been allocated to specific initiatives in each of the priority areas at both the division level and at individual schools. At the division level, funds are being invested to ensure access to opportunities and services are consistent throughout the division. This includes investments in the following:
• improved learning opportunities for students through increased digital connectivity;
• the development and enhancement of Learning Commons spaces at all schools;
• the installation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) at all schools that do not currently have one;
• addressing inventory needs for providing music and fine arts programming; and,
• the installation of FM systems in all Kindergarten to Grade 6 classrooms that currently do not have them. A
Additional investments will be made at the division level in the following areas: mental health and wellness initiatives; seed money for schools to develop alternate or non – traditional programs; cameras for buses; common assessments; and FNMI (First Nations,Inuit and Metis) literacy.
The Board earmarked $ 735,000 to be invested directly in schools across the division. Each school was asked to identify projects or initiatives that aligned with the division’s priorities and would benefit from funding beyond what the school is currently able to allocate. A total of 42 requests were approved, with each school receiving approval for at least one initiative. These initiatives include Lego Mindstorm robotics equipment, a greenhouse, outdoor education equipment, water filling stations, wellness equipment, e – readers, cafeteria and kitchen enhancements, wellness and therapy dogs, guided reading resources , fitness equipment, coding app creation, creating mindful spaces, industrial arts resources, a hockey program, and learning commons equipment.
“The Board was impressed with the innovation shown by our schools and the quality of their proposals,” said Skogen. “These initiatives will engage our students in some amazing learning opportunities, as well as supporting student health and wellness.”