While the kids may still be on a Holiday pause, the Portage la Prairie School Division is taking no breaks as they prepare for the new year.

Chair of the board for the division, Hélène Hoggarth, says that 2022 was busy for them.

"We're trying to get back to normal after the pandemic. It's been challenging trying to get students back into the classroom and getting the sports activities going," continues Hoggarth. "All these things take time to get going again, but it's hard to believe that we're heading into the fifth month of the school year already."

She proudly highlights that since last year, enrollment is up by 128 students, a statistic that points to a healthy state of the division.

"It's keeping us on our toes, and there's a lot of new buildings coming along that will likely house more families, which means another extensive growth for our schools, and we're here for them."

Hoggarth explains that although everything seems to be in order for a successful 2023, funding has a few uncertainties.

"The government has taken over taxation, and we anticipate a status quo situation. However, planning a budget can be difficult when you don't know where the funding is going to be."

Hoggarth adds that 80 percent of their budget goes toward teacher contracts, which they will have to factor in as they also fund maintenance on aging buildings, buses, etc.

"It's going to have its challenging moments, that's for sure. We have high needs in our community." 

Lastly, Hoggarth took time to thank the community and staff within the division who help make every day and lesson so special.

"Returning to a normal routine past the COVID pandemic. Getting back on track takes time and has offered challenges, but we're overcoming them."