The Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district will receive $1.5 million from the Ministry of Education this year through the Learning Improvement Fund, introduced last year to help school districts deal with increasing costs and improve programs.
It's the second of three annual installments earmarked for the district under the $165-million program and will be used to help improve academic outcomes in the district, which is below provincial standards.
District spokeswoman Donna Reimer said this year's funding will be used primarily to continue to support initiatives established last year in local schools. They include the establishment of the district's Response-To-Intervention program.
The RTI program involves interdisciplinary teams, which include psychologists, speech pathologists, counsellors, child and youth family workers and led by instructional co-ordinators, that work directly with individual students and classes experiencing educational and other issues when teachers and school-based teams have had little or no success.
Last year, the district decided to spend $862,000 of its funding on the educational teams, $434,000 went into the district's reserve funds in anticipation of ongoing lean economic times, and $191,000 is earmarked for increased time for educational assistants in the classrooms.
The district has decided that $190,000 of this year's LIF funding will again be earmarked for teacher assistants, while the remainder will be invested in the intervention teams and teacher professional development.
"The funding is a great assistance to help us meet our stategic planning goals in the district," Reimer said. "We're making progress in our programs that are being funded with LIF finding, but we still have a long distance to go."
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