Just as students returned to classes earlier this month, the Quesnel School District board returned to meetings on Wednesday, Sept. 22.
While district meetings are still held online due to a lack of space at the district’s office, the board was happy to hear some student activities have somewhat returned to normal given the pandemic.
“We’re having really good support around (the COVID-19) plans from all our staff and students,” Superintendent Sue-Ellen Miller said.
“I’m hearing regularly that kids are really doing their best to wear their masks. We’ve really have not had concerns raised by staff and parents at this time.”
All students in grades 4 and above are required to wear a mask, but things like sports, extra-curricular activities and school meal programs have returned this September.
Students were even able to take a trip to Bowron Lake early in the school year.
Secretary-treasurer Jennifer Woollends noted the district will be spending additional funds for COVID-19 related cleaning measures. While most of the costs will be covered by federal and provincial funds ($84,000), the board is set to spend $17,000 of their own money on COVID-19.
“It’s good to see we did get some additional dollars,” Trustee Gloria Jackson said. “We knew that going in, that’s why we budgeted some dollars, we’d have some needs especially around cleaning.”
Woollends noted schools in the district have upgraded their ventilation systems, with higher quality filters now changed more often.
The board also heard updates on three major facilities in the district.
While they are still waiting for a final report on the landslide causing Carson Elementary’s playground to close, the board has acted in the meantime. They’ve approved spending additional dollars on other outdoor activities at the school.
The new Quesnel Junior School construction remains on budget, but Woollends warned the board in her report the project could be a little late due to material delays.
“If you’ve driven by (the school) lately, you’ll notice many of the walls are actually up and they’re working and progressing towards lockup, hopefully by the end of October,” Woollends said. “Then they’ll start to move inside the school and be working on the finishings of it.”
A number of projects at Dragon Lake Elementary school are set to be completed by October, including a new playground and basketball court.
The board also approved their minor capital plan submission to the ministry of education. Included in the list of requests are upgrades to Lakeview, Parkland and Correlieu schools, bus replacements, LED lights, and new playground equipment.
The total funding requested from the district for minor projects is $2.4 million.
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