The province announced that it would be adding an additional $10 million for students in grade 1 who need help catching up in both math and literacy.
According to the province, the funding is part of the government's promise to provide $110 million over three years for students experiencing both academic and mental health challenges because of the pandemic. The provincial government added that ongoing research and feedback from school authorities, teachers and parents indicates students in Grade 1 are experiencing challenges in their reading and math skills and were affected by learning disruptions while in kindergarten or preschool.
In September 2022, school authorities were required to administer literacy and numeracy screening assessments for all students in grades 1 to 3, while students in grades 2 and 3 were assessed earlier this school year, and Grade 1 students were assessed by the end of January 2023.
"For many of these students, Grade 1 is their first year learning in a school setting. The government is able to provide this funding for Grade 1 students at this time of year because schools have had the preceding months to work with these learners and determine their exact needs," the province stated in a press release.
Alberta's Education Minister, Adriana LaGrange said that this funding demonstrates that the government is taking action to prevent future challenges for the youngest learners who are in the critical years of their development.
School authorities can begin applying for this funding immediately. The province also underlined that school authorities will have the flexibility to tailor programs to their student’s unique needs. For example, they may hire additional teachers and educational assistants, provide more training to their staff or purchase resources like books and access to online resources.