By Lethbridge Herald on April 8, 2020.
Lethbridge School Division release:
As the Division continues to adjust to the $1.5 million reduction in funding announced in late March, the decision has been made to cancel layoff notices for a combined 104 educational assistants and advanced educational support staff, along with First Nations Metis and Inuit liaisons and a group of administrative support professionals.
“Our educational assistants fulfill a crucial role in supporting students with complex needs, and the decision to cancel layoff notices for over 91 EAs and nine AES staff will assist schools in ensuring the continuity of learning progresses for all students engaged in the learning-at-home model,” said Lethbridge School Division Superintendent, Dr. Cheryl Gilmore. “These employees are essential for ensuring students have access to the educational resources they require.”
Layoff notices, effective April 30, are still in place for 300 employees throughout the Division, which includes some educational assistants and advanced educational support staff, learning commons facilitators, career practitioners and some administrative support professionals.
“The Division looks forward to having all employees re-unite with the team when in-school learning is back in place,” said Gilmore.
To keep all staff in the fall, the Division had to make up a $3 million funding shortfall in the November fall budget update. One-time reserve funds and other operational efficiencies were utilized at that time. Reserves are also being built into the 2020/2021 draft budget to cushion the impact of the new funding framework, and maintain as many employees as possible for the 2020/2021 school year.
As the Division’s transition to student learning at home continues across all levels during the 2019/2020 school year, Gilmore added excellent work is taking place on a daily basis.
“Our staff has been incredibly flexible, committed and are continuing with what needs to get done to serve students in an entirely-different context. I am incredibly proud of the work that is being done across the Division.”