The first few weeks of class are always a bit of a transition for student and teacher alike.
But the process was made slightly easier in the Coquitlam school district this year, thanks to some timely funding and the cooperation of the district and teachers.
While districts around the province were using their portion of the province's new Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) to try and get classes down to 30 students, School District 43 was using the money to put extra teachers in classes where the composition of students makes teaching more difficult.
Essentially, the district put its $2.7 million share of LIF into hiring roughly 20 new teachers and another portion for professional development.
"It will make a huge difference in schools," said School District 43 assistant superintendent Sylvia Russell. "There are some classrooms where the nature of the combination of children and students makes those classes more difficult, so to have those extra resources to draw upon, and to plan for that resource, is truly a gift."
Last spring, the district put a call out to all the schools to figure out which classes could most use the extra resources. The district, along with the local teachers' union, agreed to have the extra staff in place for the fall.
About $2 million went toward teachers for the fall, with another $200,000 for professional development.
Another $350,000 went to address any anomalies or issues once the school year started and another $150,000 for the second semester.
The head of the Coquitlam Teachers' Association (CTA) praised the funding decisions.
"I think students are the ones that benefited most from this," said CTA president Teresa Grandinetti.
Since 2006, the school district has spent $2 million extra per year to keep class sizes below the 30-student mark.
This year marked the first year for the LIF program in the province, and the district is hoping the fund will continue for years to come.