In early-April, GSACRD, along with all other provincial school jurisdictions, had to face the reality that it must temporarily reduce staff, relative to the provincial government’s need to fund emergent health services and supplies as a result of COVID-19.
The Hon. Adriana LaGrange, minister of Education, announced on March 28 that school districts across the province would have a reduction in funding due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The $128 million-reduction in provincial funding will, instead, be directed to the government's pandemic response.
"We are disappointed that we must lay off these valuable staff members, who play important roles in supporting student learning and success - including during this temporary model of learning from home," says Joe Becigneul, board chair.
"This has not been an easy process, as each person is an integral member of our schools and our division. To be clear, these temporary reductions do not diminish the work our incredible staff does - each and every day - in any way.”
The board and division have a plan in place to help ease the burden of the temporary layoffs. Rest assured, our administration and schools are working collaboratively with Student Services and Human Resource Services to effectively plan for continued, collaborative, and effective supports for our students. School principals will communicate with families in this regard.
The 116 support staff who will be laid off from their current positions, effective at the end of the day on April 30, have been notified - as have all parents/guardians, students, and staff. While we are not alone in having to make difficult choices, we recognize the stresses this may cause some of our staff and their families. We are working with those who need help accessing supports as needed.
"It is important to understand that this is not forever,” says David Keohane, superintendent, noting that the province has said it will restore funding once in-person classes resume. “All of our teachers, support staff, and division staff are essential to the continued success of our students.”
Thank you for your continued support as we work through the unique challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic – in our schools, in our community, and in the province at large.
We will get through this together.
- Download: Notice to parents and guardians (April 16, 2020)