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Saskatchewan announces one-year interim Education supports

The Saskatchewan Government is announcing some details of a one-year education plan to help schools get back to normal after a turbulent COVID-19 year.

Education Minster Dustin Duncan announced the $21 million in funding Tuesday, noting the work and creativity of teachers, education support staff and families as they supported these students during an unusual school year.

The program, called the Interim Provincial Education Plan, will cover three main facets.

The first revolves around mental health supports for educational staff and students returning to school. It earmarks nearly $600,000 from the 2021-22 Budget for bullying prevention and promoting positive mental health and student safety.

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Along with that, $500,000 is being committed by the Government of Saskatchewan for Mental Health First Aid training to school divisions.

The second looks at supportive learning for students who’ve had their education impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. High school students will be able to use alternate means of getting educational credits, such as classes offered out of grade order, special project credits and online classes.

Finally, the third facet looks to provide enhanced reading supports for students in the first to fifth grades. Reading data will be collected from these students so that educational professionals can create specialized reading plans where needed to meet students at their individual skill levels.

The province says based on these three priorities, school divisions and participating First Nations education authorities will use the funding to develop their own plans tailored to the needs of their students.

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