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Olive Crane gives notice that she will ask the Minister responsible for Education the following questions:
Date Submitted : November 13, 2014
Can the Minister outline what his Department is doing to address the combined c1asses in elementary schools? Where a school has reduced the numbers of teachers and educational assistants what supports are in place for struggling students? Does the Minister expect that his department will be able to provide more financial resources to the school board to hire more educational assistants?
Date answered : November 26, 2014
Educational assistant (EA) time is allotted to schools to support specific student needs, not academic needs. These needs may include high Iisk behaviours, personal/physical care needs, and severe visual/hearing and communications needs.
An EA will help a student with a specific need. A combined classroom would not necessarily require more EA support, unless there were more students in that class with specific needs that could be addressed by an EA. If that is the case, the appropriate EA time would be supplied.
Students who have learning challenges benefit from focussed, highly trained educators developing individualized leaming plans that are delivered by trained teachers, not EAs.
There are supports in place for teachers who teach combined classrooms, both at the school board and department level. These supports include help with instmctional strategies to adapt the provincial curriculum to be taught in a combined classroom.