WEYBURN – A new partnership between the Family Place and the Holy Family school division was signed in an agreement for a new Weyburn Early Years Family Resource Centre, with the school division to assume the role of “accountable partner” with the Ministry of Education.
The parameters of Holy Family’s role was explained at the school board meeting held on April 5, with the information brought forward by Terry Jordens, superintendent of student services and assessments for Holy Family.
As she explained, this means that Holy Family has a service agreement with the Ministry for the resource centre, and holds the funding on behalf of the community.
Holy Family will also be a member of the Community Planning Table, along with the Family Place, and will share decision-making with the planning table.
The Family Place will be the staffing partner, as they will hire staff and support the operation of the family resource centre on behalf of the community, and will work in partnership with Holy Family and the Community Planning Table.
The announcement of the new partnership was made on March 31. This community centre focuses on all families with young children to provide free, flexible programming that builds relationships between caregivers and children. The four pillars of Early Years Family Resources Centres are early learning, parenting education, family wellness and support, and information and referrals.
The resource centre programming will begin right away at their current location on Fourth Street, said Dawn Gutzke, executive director of the Family Place, and the addition and renovations to their new location will begin in mid to late summer, with a view to moving there in a year’s time. The new location is the former Dance Zone building on McLelland Street just off Fifth Avenue North.
• In regard to the provincial budget, the small increase in funds for Holy Family will mean the school division will be largely eating the increased costs, said Gwen Keith, education director for Holy Family.
The school division will get an overall funding increase of about $71,000, which will mostly cover the increase in teachers salaries, “but it doesn’t include anything more for staff connected with them. Holy Family will have to eat up the costs.”
She added for incremental adjustments when a teacher moves up the pay scale are also not covered in the government funding.
In addition, the province gave Holy Family about $54,000 for more educational aides next year, but this won’t go very far either, said Keith.
“It’s going to be a challenge to deal with,” she said as the administration now tries to put together their budget for the 2022-23 school year by May. This budget will largely determine staffing for the next school year, noted Keith, and it will be submitted to the province for final approval, and that won’t come until about July.
The hiring of personnel will need to start once the budget’s set in May, said Keith.