The Quesnel School District has received almost 800 thousand dollars in COVID relief money.
Photo: Quesnel School District office (G Henderson, MyCaribooNow-staff)
Secretary-Treasurer Jen Woollends provided an update on the numbers at this week’s Board of Education meeting…
“We received 260 thousand dollars from the provincial government for COVID funding, and we received so far 534,478 from the federal. And it is expected to receive another 534 thousand in January from the federal government.”
Woollends says they’ve spent about 20 percent of the money so far which makes sense as they are about one fifth through the school year at this point.
She says the provincial money was targeted funding for things like paying for custodial staff, hand hygiene, cleaning supplies, face masks and shields, and technology…
“To date, we’ve spent 35 percent of the custodial staff as we’ve added more than a 170 hours a week to our schools with plans to add more to help with midday cleaning and after school cleaning to make sure that we’re meeting and exceeding the cleaning requirements for all of our sites. We’ve spent about 80 thousand since the beginning of July on cleaning supplies. That includes the cleaning to disinfect, the paper products to use hand towels or paper towel instead of hand driers, hand sanitizers, those types of things. We also purchased 6,591 reusable masks with the $12,065 that they gave us provincially and then we spent more than that and purchased more masks with the federal money.”
Woollends says they’ve spent some of the federal money on their enhanced Distance Learning program as well by hiring three more teachers and secretarial help two days a week.
She says they’ve also had to adjust some of their spaces to be more COVID friendly.
“We removed a lot of furniture from our classrooms and our libraries, we put in Plexiglass where needed, and generally just adjusted spaces to allow for more space and more barriers to help prevent exposures.”
Woollends says thanks to the money from the senior governments, they haven’t had to dip into their regular funding.