The budget has been set for RVS.
A $250 million dollar operating budget for the 2016/17 school year was approved at the June 2 board meeting.
RVS Chair Colleen Munro says although not perfect, it is the best budget RVS could expect.
"I think given the economic situation in Alberta it is the best possible budget a school board could expect."
Growth is expected to climb, shares Munro, stating that over the last 5 years enrollment has grown by a whopping 20%..
"For Rocky View, growth is being funded. Our administration team is forecasting that we are going to grow by another 881 students in September and that is huge for us."
Budget priorities for the board are direct classroom instruction, school based services for inclusive learning, specialized services for complex need students, and continued support for literacy, numeracy, and 21st century skills.
When it comes to instruction, we will see an additional 32 full time teachers K-8/9, and 13 high school teachers hired to help handle the growth in existing and new schools.
Inclusive education programming will increase by $600,000 as a second multidisciplinary support team is created to handle the needs of complex students.
Munro states with ballooning population the varied needs of all students needs to be supported.
"One of the challenges in Rocky View is that the children in our classrooms are coming at different emotional and social spectrums and we are talking about the classroom as it becoming increasingly complex. So this multi-disciplinary team is ancillary professionals, speech pathologists, behaviour specialists all those real hands-on professionals that can help these kids in the classroom and help the learning that happens for all the kids in the classroom."
Challenges and pressures will continue to be felt by the RVS board over the next year.
"Carbon levy is anticipated to increase our fuel and utility costs by just a little over $230,000 next year, and by the time it is fully implemented it will be more than $500,000."
Munro adds besides the carbon levy coming into effect, the board will need to spend time reevaluating how transportation needs are filled.
"Our Transportation grant has not increased at all in the last 5-6 years so finding efficiency in our transportation system without downloading costs onto our families will be something that we will be working on."
Although ecstatic to see new schools opening over the next two years, Munro says the board will need to continue to advocate for more due to continued growth.
"We have a new capital plan that we approved of in March and we have got schools that we are working on, but with 800+ kids coming to us next year we're going to have to keep on looking at getting new schools. Otherwise we will be in the situation we were in some years ago when we were behind and trying to pull rabbits out of hats trying to accommodate students."
To read more on the approved budget you can find it here.