School is just around the corner and we know that parents and families in the Wolseley constituency are worried.
Most student groups are too large to space out desks adequately and the government has not committed to investing new money to secure additional community spaces, portable classrooms or other options to further spread out students. Nor has it committed to hire additional teachers, janitorial staff or education assistants. There are other worrisome issues with the government’s back-to-school plan that just don’t cut it.
For this reason, my team and I gathered with a number of Wolseley parents at Vimy Ridge Park to announce our alternative safe return to learning plan. Teachers and families have told us that this plan makes them feel safer and better supported.
Among the five points in our safe return plan is a province-wide cap of 15 students per classroom, and the hiring of 400 more teachers throughout the 2020-2021 school year. For those of you who were at home at the end of the last school year, helping your children with distance learning — I know it wasn’t easy. We will likely be going into September with children of many different needs and skill levels in a single classroom. We need more teachers and educational assistants to ensure that no child is left behind in their learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Real investments need to be made into our children’s classroom and learning experience as well as the social, physical and mental health supports provided through schools so that they are safe, healthy and happy — now and in the future.
To learn more about our alternative safe return to learning plan you can visit https://www.mbndp.ca/a_safe_return_to_learning
In the meantime, I hope everyone continues to enjoy what is left of summer. Please continue to follow public health directives. Wearing a mask in indoor public spaces, or where social distancing is not possible, is a choice that Manitobans have available to them to help prevent virus transmission.
I want to thank everyone who came out to meet and talk with me at our various community events earlier this month.
I’m also grateful to those of you who have filled in our community needs survey. If you did not receive information in your mailbox about the survey, please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-792-2773.
Wolseley constituency report
Lisa Naylor is the NDP MLA for Wolseley.