School boards are thanking the province for added funds to help protect the classroom this fall. Sherri-Lynne Pharand talks about how they're using the additional money at the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board.

"Additional training for staff, additional personal protective equipment, extra cleaning supplies and staff for extra cleaning is all an important part of our ability to offer a safe return to school. So, we're appreciative of the funding," said Pharand Friday.

Queen's Park is providing almost a half-million dollars for Keewatin-Patricia -- and close to $400,000 for each of the Kenora Catholic and Northwest Catholic district school boards this fall.

Derek Haime at the Kenora Catholic District School Board says the extra $400,000 from Queen's Park is helping them make classes safer this fall.

"That funding was primarily used for staffing at Kenora Catholic. We added teachers to keep classes small. We added custodians to take care of the enhanced cleaning efforts that we've been engaged in, and we've added extra administrative support," he said.

Kenora - Rainy River MPP -- and provincial cabinet minister -- Greg Rickford says Queen's Park is providing $40 million this fall, to ensure students arrive safely at school.

"I have no doubt that some parents are making individual choices. We know that there are some parents, who have decided not to send their children to school, but for the ones that are, we want them to know that from the moment they leave their doorstep -- whether they walk to school or take a bus -- once they're in a school they're in a safe and confident environment for learning," he said.

The union representing bus drivers in the district says policies currently allow full capacity on school buses, and they say the situation isn't safe for either students or drivers.

For more information:

Bus drivers lobby for better safety measures