RETSD Welcomes Investment for Newcomer Students
The Manitoba government is investing an additional $900,000 to increase the Intensive Newcomer Support Grant, which will help schools provide supports for newcomers entering Manitoba’s education system this school year, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko announced today.
“Our government is committed to ensuring that all Manitoba students receive a high-quality education, whether they have lived in our province for many years or are newcomers to Manitoba,” said Ewasko. “This investment will support schools and school divisions in responding to the sharp increase in newcomers who have fled war-affected countries and are enrolling in Manitoba schools.”
The Intensive Newcomer Support Grant is an application-based annual grant. It supports newcomer students, many of whom come from refugee backgrounds, whose schooling has been disrupted or whose literacy is low.
School divisions are experiencing a significantly higher demand for newcomer resources due in part to an influx of newcomers fleeing the brutal war of aggression in Ukraine, the minister noted.
“We believe it is important for students and their families to have a strong beginning at their new school in their new community,” said Sandra Herbst, superintendent and CEO, River East Transcona School Division (RETSD). “So, we offer all our newcomers the services of a newcomer reception facilitator—a friendly face to support them as they join the division. Our arms are open to all new students”
This one-on-one support allows the division to provide programming that best suits each student’s needs. In just the last six weeks, 512 newcomer students have enrolled in the RETSD schools—100 per cent of last year’s total.
Grant applications for new funding proposals will be accepted this fall. The additional funding will support school programming for newcomer students who have arrived for the 2022–23 school year. The additional funding for the grant program brings the total amount of support to $1.8 million for this school year. The minister said this builds on significant investments in education, including an additional $7 million for special needs funding, for a total increase of more than $460 million for this school year.
The minister noted supporting newcomer and refugee students aligns with the vision articulated in Manitoba’s K to 12 Education Action Plan that all Manitoba students succeed, no matter where they live, their backgrounds or circumstances.
The actions in the plan are guided by six overarching principles including equity and inclusion. This support for newcomers also builds on Manitoba’s investments in child care for newcomer families through a pilot project in Winnipeg announced in August 2022.