The Ministry of Education is also ending its COVID-19 Restart funding, which provided SD8 with $211,533. Superintendent Trish Smillie said those cuts led to a reconsideration of the laptop program. “I think, overall, the philosophy of the program and the intention of the program had very solid roots. It had support definitely from some people and it wasn’t supported by other people,” said Smillie. “At this time, it’s just a program that isn’t central to the services that we need to be providing for students in the next coming years.”
A plan to deliver new computers to children in School District 8 is being scrapped. The $750,000 initiative, which began in February 2021, would have offered a new laptop to every Grade 7 and 10 student in the district. However, due to funding constraints, the concept has been abandoned. Due to an anticipated 1% enrolment decline for the upcoming academic year, the district’s 2022-2023 budget forecasts a loss of $899,027 in provincial money.
Last year, the district bought 750 laptops for its students, who would have kept them for three years before either receiving a replacement or graduating. The eventual plan was to equip every student from Grades 7 to 12 with their own laptop. The laptops that were already purchased will be redistributed within schools. ‘It’s the anti-yacht race’: Kootenay sailing team set to compete in Race to Alaska Jury sides with Johnny Depp on defamation lawsuit, ex-wife Amber Heard on counterclaim