December 1, 2021
PRESS RELEASE RE: HORIZON SCHOOL DIVISION 2021 ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT
On November 29, 2021, the Board approved the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended
August 31, 2021. The financial statements are available at: https://www.horizon.ab.ca/board/reports.
A new funding framework was implemented for 2021. This framework recognizes the challenges
associated with operating small rural schools and provided a significant increase in funding for the
Horizon School Division. After multiple years of significant operating deficits (2020 -$857,436), the
jurisdiction realized a surplus of $338,325 for 2021. Without the additional funding that was provided to assist with the costs associated with COVID-19 the jurisdiction would have had to reduce services and staff or incur a significant deficit.
The year presented many challenges as students and staff worked through the COVID-19 pandemic. The year started with approximately 250 fewer students than was projected. While some costs exceeded what was planned, other costs were reduced as various events were postponed or cancelled. Significant effort was made to provide students with quality, flexible instruction as the pandemic forced all of us to adapt multiple times. Enhanced cleaning protocols were implemented for the safety of staff and students. At home learning opportunities were made available all year, and school-based learning was forced to shift to temporary at home learning on multiple occasions. Every aspect of the jurisdiction’s operations was impacted. Costs directly attributed to COVID-19 totaled $1,363,703. Additional funding of $1,283,650 was provided to assist with these costs.
In 2021-22 many of the COVID-19 mitigation strategies continue as we follow the lead of the
government’s medical professionals. Resources are being strategically allocated to address the
challenges from the pandemic, and to bridge any learning gaps that have been caused by interruptions
in the last school year. The challenges of the pandemic are significant, but as we engage and empower
students, they will continue to thrive in their educational journey.