School District 47’s board of trustees has written BC minister of education Jennifer Whiteside about funding for students taking trades training.
In the letter, introduced at the February 10 school board meeting, board of education chairperson Dale Lawson stated that recently, the Industrial Training Authority changed the definition of youth apprentice, resulting in graduating students under the age of 19 no longer being eligible to receive funding from the ministry of education to complete trades programs they started before graduation.
Lawson stated that this means a student who starts their trades program in grade 12 and graduates that year will not be funded by the ministry for their program even if they are younger than 19. These students will have to pay the fees required to complete their trades training.
Lawson requested that the ministry reinstate funding for graduated students under the age of 19 who are continuing the second year of their trades training program with school districts.
School District 47 has made efforts to assist students with handwashing during the pandemic. According to a report to the board of education, in the spring of 2020 when school returned to session in a COVID-19 environment, the district made a move to AVMOR products. These were chosen because of their support and concern for cumulative chemical contact that the student population would be forced to endure with the return to studies and they could provide a suitable cleaning product with very low chemical concentrations, according to the report.
The report added that from the start, AVMOR has promoted soap and water as the number one deterrent to COVID-19.
“That is what Dr. Bonnie Henry states and it is our belief as well, and it is what we have been encouraging in classrooms,” the report stated.
However, provincial guidelines require sanitizer to be available as well as soap and water, and both are available at all facilities, according to the report.
“The products we have chosen to use, sanitizer and soap, both have some of the lower active chemical limits allowed to combat COVID-19,” the report stated. “In closing, we are being conscious of the short and long-term effects of the constant application of chemical cleaners on children’s lives and are making best practice choices to keep the contact and chemical levels as low as possible.”