Student and Family Affordability Fund in SD 71

Comox Valley Schools is using a three-tiered approach to ensure the provincial Student and Family Affordability Fund allocation for the district supports students and families who need it most. The tiered approach was developed with the assistance of partner groups and utilizes a blend of school based, district based, and community partnership-based initiatives.

In August 2022, the Ministry of Education and Child Care announced that it would be allocating $60 million in one-time funding to school districts to go toward the expansion of school food programs, and assist with offsetting some costs and fees during this period of high inflation. Comox Valley Schools is receiving $980,354.

In order to determine how to best allocate the funding, SD 71 staff formed a committee and engaged in discussions with partners, including representatives from:

• the SD 71 Indigenous Education Council, including K’omoks First Nation;

• the District Parents Advisory Council (DPAC);

• SD 71 community schools; • Canadian Union of Public Employees;

• Comox District Teachers Association;

• LUSH Valley Food Action Society; and

• Comox Valley Principals and Vice-Principals Association (CVPVPA).

The consultations focused on using the funds creatively and flexibly to have a broad impact on students most in need of supports.

“We are thankful for the feedback that was gained through the consultation process with our principals and local community groups,” said Tom Demeo, SD 71 superintendent. “It means the funding will be more effective in reaching students and families most in need of support.”

The approach and allocated funding have been broken into three main tiers:

• $500,000 is allocated to Tier 1 Initiatives that will reach the most students. These are organized and implemented at the school level by staff. Schools will be consulting with staff and Parent Advisory Councils regarding how best to allocate these funds.

• $350,000 is allocated for Tier 2 Initiatives. These are organized and implemented at the district level in consultation with district stakeholders. This includes but is not limited to Lush Valley, community school programs, SD 71 Indigenous Education and district based initiatives.

• $100,000 is allocated for Tier 3 Initiatives. These are organized and implemented at the district level.

A small portion of funds are set aside for contingency costs as needed.

Comox Valley Schools is looking forward to using these funds to benefit students and families with the guidance of our partners.