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(Canada) BC parents told to keep ASD kids home during shortage of classroom aides

Feb 7, 2019, CTV News: Special needs student urged to stay home amid educational assistant shortage https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/special-needs-student-urged-to-stay-home-amid-educational-assistant-shortage-1.4286135 The mother of a Grade 1 special needs student at View Royal Elementary says she was stunned when the school asked her to keep her son home last Thursday. "I was shocked," said Cristina Gage, …whose son Lincoln has autism. "I got a phone call Thursday morning, we were on our way out the door making Lincoln's lunch, asking him to keep him home for the day. They were short three or four EAs so he didn't have the extra support so they asked if we can keep him home." She sent her son anyway, but said the school is not to blame. 'It's extremely rare': Lack of substitute teachers has Sooke superintendent filling in... "They’re doing the best they can with what they’re given," Gage said. The reason for the request was a lack of educational assistants, and Gage said hers isn’t the only family affected. Jen Wark has two autistic children at View Royal Elementary, and said while she’s never been asked to keep her kids home, the consistency of care is a concern…. A 2016 Supreme Court of Canada ruling reduced class sizes, meaning more space, more teachers and more educational assistants in B.C. classrooms. Filling the number of positions with qualified people is the challenge. School District 61 Superintendent Shelley Green said asking parents to keep special needs kids at home is a last resort. … "School District 61 has very successfully hired new educational assistants. I think 35 since November," he said. …

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