The province will be investing $45 million into students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 this coming fall.

Premier Jason Kenney news conference on May 28 with Education Minister Adriana LaGrange, to talk about supports for students during the pandemic.

COVID-19 has had an impact on learning for students in Alberta and across the country, Kenney said.

He spoke of times where there was a shift to at-home learning for students.

“Albertans have worked hard to prioritize in-classroom instruction throughout most of the pandemic because it is so important for the welfare of children,” he said.

He noted the shift to at-home learning has resulted in learning disruptions for some students.

He said this can be more difficult for children at younger grades.

LaGrange said, “this year has been like no other in our education system.”

“Despite the incredible work done by students, parents, teachers and administrators to ensure students can learn safety this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a large impact on learning in Alberta and around the world. Particularly with our youngest learners,” she said.

This additional support will be to close the gap on pandemic learning disruptions. This funding will focus on literacy and numeracy.

Bevan Daverne, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents said, “Additional funding to target foundational skills is welcomed and timely news as jurisdictions are planning to address learning supports arising from the pandemic.”

“Students in grades 1 to 3 are the ones who have been most negatively impacted by school closures and interruptions,” said Kenney.

He said the goal is to support kids in bridging the achievement gap.