Catholic Division funded for additional spaces for intensive support pilot program

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The Prince Albert Catholic School Division has been funded additional spaces for an Early Learning Intensive Support (ELIS) pilot program. At the school board’s regular meeting on Monday, October 5 the board learned that they will be funded for 12 additional spaces.

The spaces will be for three and four-year-old children who require intensive supports to meet their needs.

The division was selected to be part of the program for Pre-Kindergarten in March, 2019 by the Ministry of Education. The program is part of a bilateral agreement between the Federal Government and Ministry of Education.

“It is basically a program where families may be reluctant to have their children begin school because they have some intensive needs or have some needs,” director of education Lorel Trumier said.

“What this project endeavors to do is to support that school start basically an assistant that can help in the classroom and make sure that the education process starts off on the right foot that the procedure and routines and different things that need to get done are completed.”

The ELIS provides funding for students that are registered through the pilot project. A half full time equivalent for shared between two students for a total of three full time equivalent Educational Assistant positions. It also provides specialized supports for things like occupational therapy or early learning intensive support.

“We are proud that we have our ELIS program occurring again this year and we have designated the program in certain schools,” Trumier said.

ELIS spaces are located in St. Catherine School, St. Francis School, St Michael Community School and Ecole St. Anne School. The sites were determined according to need.

The division has  also received their funding allocation from the Ministry of Education for French as a second language. For 2020-2021 the division will be receiving $24,687.

“We had ministry application for French as a second language, we always look for that grant every year and are pleased that can support us,” she said.

As well the division has received Recruitment and Retention Funding for the 2020-2021 school year. The funding is in support of teacher recruitment and retention strategies in the division. The funding is $21,882.

“We also received recruitment and retention grant that will also help us with areas such as our French Immersion. We always want to emilurate in terms of our French Immersion,” Trumier said.

September 30 was Orange Shirt Day and though they couldn’t celebrate in the usual fashion because of the COVID-19 pandemic staff and students were able to participate.

“We also had a very successful Orange Shirt Day. We posted lots of pictures on our Instagram. Our staff really making sure that we are trying to support the endeavor on this day,” she said.

 The date of the meeting also coincided with World Teacher Day and the board took the opportunity to salute everyone.

“We can’t thank our teachers enough for the hard work that is going into this particular school year. And we know that there are more than just teachers attached to a successful school year, like our Educational Assistants and our associates and our caretakers and all areas of support, our secretaries and administrative assistants. So we certainly take that opportunity yesterday to insure that all of our staff are thanked and take a chance to pray for them,” Trumier said.