Because of changes resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, School District #83’s board of trustees was asked to revise the timeline for 2020-21 preliminary annual budget. (File photo)

Because of changes resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, School District #83’s board of trustees was asked to revise the timeline for 2020-21 preliminary annual budget. (File photo)

North Okanagan-Shuswap school board asked for budget timeline extension

Education departments occupied with transition to learning-at-home model

With its budget process pushed back due to COVID-19, School District #83 has yet to determine the financial impact of the related crisis on North Okanagan-Shuswap schools.

At its Tuesday, April 21 meeting, the school district’s board of trustees supported in principle a revised 2020-21 preliminary annual budget timeline. This included moving preliminary budget approval to June 17.

School district communications person Alice Hucul explained the budget timeline revision was proposed because staff have been occupied with the new model for learning opportunities at home, a transition necessitated by the closure of schools in response to the virus.

Education departments haven’t had time to put together their budgets, said Hucul in an email, so the board was asked for the small extension.

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Hucul said the school district may see some savings resulting from school closures, but there has also been additional costs including custodial.

Draft budget details will be available at the board’s May meeting.

Other actions were supported by the board in respect of physical distancing requirements ordered by the province. All budget committee meetings will be conducted over the internet, and a public budget meeting scheduled for April 30 will instead be conducted as an online survey.

The board also gave its first two readings to a capital bylaw to fund projects approved by the Ministry of Education for the 2020-21. The bylaw is to fund $1,429,000 in HVAC upgrades at Eagle River Secondary in Sicamous, and for the replacement of three buses at a cost of $141,483 each.

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