FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – School District 60 is looking for feedback on the budget priorities for the 2021-2022 school year.

The survey has been reopened for the last round of input from the public, and the District will compile results and prepare them for discussion as early as next week.

“One of the things we are keeping a really close eye on related to budget is how many kids are coming back to school,” said SD 60 Superintendent Stephen Petrucci. “During the pandemic, we saw a fairly significant increase in both distributed learning, like our distance education program, as well as those home learning programs.”

The District needs to be cautious for the coming year’s budget in predicting how enrolment numbers will look next year. However, Petrucci is optimistic that around 128 students will return to brick and mortar schools in the fall.

“That should help with some of our staffing and our budgeting, but of course, an increase in students also means that we need to make sure we have the teachers in place for them as well. It’s a bit of a balancing act, for sure.”

The Board of Education has identified four areas for public input:

The board’s goals in terms of enhancing student learning fall under the three categories of intellectual development, social-emotional learning, and career and skill development.

Examples of operations suggestions could include facilities, grounds, transportation, and technology.

The board seeks input on the development, management, recruitment, and retention of all staff, and how resources should be allocated.

Lastly, the Board of Education is looking for guidance on the governance properties of the Board of Trustees, including the delivery of quality governance while balancing the interests of students, families, the community, employees, and the government.

This input will help guide the board determine which areas are the highest priorities.

Ideas for new or continued programs are welcomed, as well as suggestions for staff development, maintenance, and repairs.