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FMPSD releases three-year plan, approves preliminary budget

Last Updated Jun 8, 2022 at 1:15 pm MST

Image supplied by the Fort McMurray Public School Division/FMPSD.

Fort McMurray’s Public School Division (FMPSD) has approved its preliminary budget for 2022-23.

In its May update, the Board of Trustees announced a projected deficit of $4.4-million.

They said it was due to several factors, including reduced funding through provincial grants.

The 2022-23 budget includes on focus on Children’s Mental Health, and believes enrolment will increase by four per cent in the fall.

As of publication, the FMPSD serves 6749 students in 16 schools.

The FMPSD also approved its 2022-25 Education Plan.

Included in the three-year plan are four key priorities: To promote growth and success of all students, maintain a safe and caring environment, have effective stakeholder engagement, and strengthen quality teaching and leadership.

“We continue to ensure that our teaching staff has the resources and supports to differentiate planning, instruction, and assessment in order to meet the needs of all students in diverse and inclusive learning environments.”

The Division also discussed the importance of counseling services for students and staff in the current school season.

“During the 2021-22 school year, 1044 students, or 15.5 per cent of the total student body of FMPSD, utilized counseling services within schools to speak with counselors and mental health therapists.”

Relative to provincial data, more than 25 per cent of students sought counseling about anxiety, over five per cent for depression, and more than seven per cent for suicidal ideation.

“We also know that some students seek support through community partners so these numbers only give a glance into the needs.”

One could see the progress made by Division schools in the results of the 2020-21 Alberta Education Assurance Measure.

FMPSD stakeholders completed the survey, and gauges the findings against the provincial averages.

Student learning engagement in 2020-21 across all 16 public schools was 87.6 per cent, which is a full two per cent better than the provincial average.

Access to supports for FMPSD students and staff was valued at nearly 85.9 per cent, compared to Alberta’s 82.6 per cent.

Also, parental involvement within the FMPSD was 82.7 per cent for 2020-21, compared to just 79.5 per cent across Alberta.

In the report, the FMPSD noted the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 spring flooding.

“Despite the challenges, teachers and support staff have focused their work on maintaining the support of students academically, physically, and emotionally as the process of recovery continues.”

The full 2022-25 Education Plan is available on the FMPSD website.