The Winnipeg School Division is moving forward with a pilot project in hopes of boosting student attendance. 

This week, the school division announced it will pilot no-fee lunch supervision programs and experiment with late start or early dismissal times in some of its schools. 

“While schools can’t do everything, they can do some things well,” said WSD Superintendent Matt Henderson. “This means we must ask all the adults in our schools to focus on getting kids back to school on a regular schedule because it is critical to the lives of kids who are struggling and helps us create just and sustainable societies.”

Henderson says the goal is to initiate meaningful discussions about the importance of school and how to work together to make schools sticky places to learn and grow.

"Principals and vice-principals of our high schools have been working together to make our schools sticky – creating schools that kids want to attend and where they want to stay beyond the regular school day,” says Henderson. “Our focus is on ensuring all our learners feel they belong, are known deeply by multiple adults in their school and that they can contribute to creating a powerful school community.”

The division also hopes this initiative will help make students feel welcome and supported academically and with overall well-being. 

To make up for the loss of an hour per week, June exams will be pushed back to add instructional days to the calendar, which means children will receive the same amount of if not more, instructional time.