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SD62 Xmas cost of living fund topped up to cover more staff

Broadest possible impact.

Wednesday January 4, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated 3 pm]

SOOKE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEWS | by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Reference: SD62 staff can dip into $25K cost of living fund (Nov 29, 2022)

At the first public meeting of the Sooke School District (SD62) in 2023, SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson took the opportunity to report out on how staff were supported with the custom cost-of-living fund that had been announced in late November.

At last night’s Education Policy (EP) Committee meeting, Stinson said that instead of the original idea of $100 in grocery gift cards, the hand-out ended up being $75 in gift cards for Real Canadian Superstore (which has a large store in Langford).

scott stinson, sd62
SD62 Superintendent Scott Stinson at the Nov 29, 2022 board meeting. [livestream]

The fund was carefully managed, as assigned, by Associate Superintendent Dave Strange, to meet the board’s stated objectives of equity and not stigmatizing. Privacy was maintained.

“Every staff member who wanted it, got support,” said Stinson at last night’s January 3, 2023 EP meeting. He emphasized “the incredible amount of work” it was to organize the fund in such a short period of time and commended Strange (not at the meeting) for that effort.

The original fund was approved by the board as $25,000. The final spend ended up being $28,125 in that 375 gift cards were issued at $75 each, as outlined by Stinson.

As there are about 2,000 staff across all aspects of the school district, that means about 18.7% of the staff chose to participate in the year-end cost of living support program.

dave strange, sd62
SD62 Associate Superintendent Dave Strange at Education Policy Committee [Apr 5, 2022 file photo – livestream]

While SD62 staff (teachers, administration, CUPE, etc) teach throughout the school district that has schools in Langford, Colwood and Sooke (and some of whom live beyond the west shore), Real Canadian Superstore was the ultimate pick for streamlining the gift card arrangement. Key to that decision was that a wider range of needs might be covered for staff including food, gasoline and clothing, rather than just groceries. As well, that the store is centrally located with easy parking at a busy time of year.

The original $25,000 fund for all SD62 staff (including teachers & CUPE 459) to receive cost-of-living supports was approved at the November 29, 2022 SD62 board meeting. The idea was to — in the holiday season — soften the edge of global inflation that has impacted nearly everyone in the past year.

map, langford, retail
Real Canadian Superstore is conveniently located within the Langford retail footprint. [Google map]

The year-end staff support program was, in spirit, to “mirror” the BC government’s Sept 2022 Student and Family Affordability Fund which is aimed at food security for students through school programs. [Link to the SD62 delivery upon the Student and Family Affordability Fund, a program which Associate Superintendent Strange also created and guided.]

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The provincial government did distribute funds to each school district to use as they see fit.

Stinson said that he and other senior administration in some cases even personally delivered the SD62 gift cards to staff (or their in-school mailboxes) in December. Nearly everyone who applied got their gift card ahead of winter break (last day of classes was December 16) or Christmas.

kindergarten, registration, sd62

===== RELATED:

SD62 NEWS ARCHIVE by Island Social Trends

SD62 staff can dip into $25K cost of living fund (Nov 29, 2022)

Horgan & Whiteside on Fall 2022 education funding & growing school districts (Aug 30, 2022)

Education & child care ministry issuing $60 million in back-to-school inflation supports (Aug 29, 2022)

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mary p brooke
Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends

Island Social Trends is a professional news portal at islandsocialtrends.ca . Fully online since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the extensive groundwork of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).

Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to the news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC provincial news, and national news impacts.

Ms Brooke has been covering news of School District 62 (SD62) at the board and committee level, attending nearly all of their full meetings since 2014. She was a trustee candidate in the SD62 Belmont Zone in the October 2022 election.


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