Vernon School District looks ahead at budget

As 2017 comes to an end, the Vernon School District is gearing up for the 2018/19 school year

As this year comes to an end, the Vernon School District is gearing up for the 2018/19 school year.

Secretary-treasurer Sterling Olson presented the 2018/19 preliminary budget report to district officials Wednesday, Dec. 20 at the board of education meeting.

“It’s still six months away, but we’re taking a look at what we need to do for the next school year,” Olson said.

Student enrolment numbers directly impact the amount of funding from the Ministry of Education and staff requirements, Olson said. Despite having larger enrolments in Grades 10-12 than in Kindergarten through Grade 2, resulting in a higher number of graduates than kids entering Kindergarten, The Ministry of Education expects enrolment in the Vernon School District to remain largely unaffected.

“We clearly have immigration of students coming into our schools,” Olson said of enrolment statistics, adding that student distribution through grades is improving. “We expect that trend to continue.”

Olson said the district does not expect a budget surplus for the 2017/18 fiscal year. Budget updates will continue throughout early 2018, with the final reading and adoption of the 2018/19 Budget Bylaw slated for May 23.

Child care in schools

Following legislation put forward by the provincial government in the School Act, the Vernon School District has begun talks of policies for supporting the use of board property by licensed child care providers on business days between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“I think there is a lot more to be done on this process,” said trustee Lisa DeBoer.

The policy, should it be approved in a final reading, states that the use of board property by licensed child care providers must not disrupt or interfere with educational activities and any revenue obtained will not be more than costs incurred.

“This will be a topic over the next couple of years that the district will be involved in,” superintendent Joe Rogers said.

The board of education approved first reading of the policy at Wednesday’s meeting.

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