North Las Vegas school asks special education students to stay home

Posted at 5:48 PM, Apr 22, 2018

Several parents at Elizondo Elementary School received last minute phone calls from the school Friday asking them to keep their students out of school due to a staffing shortage in special education classrooms.

Yesenia Gonzales was among the parents who got the call as the family was preparing to head out the door.

While she says she was lucky, the change wasn’t easy to handle because she still had to drop her other son off at the elementary school.

“I have one kid upset because he didn’t have to go to school and the other upset he had to go,” Gonzales said.

Her son Matthew is in a special education class at the North Las Vegas school because he has Asperger Syndrome.

“They said we don’t have enough staff and it is best the kids don’t come in,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said while she was able to accommodate the request she knows other parents in the class had to work Friday.

A spokesperson for the Clark County School District said 7 staff members at the school called to say they couldn’t work Friday.

The assistant principal couldn’t locate anyone else to fill those positions leaving the special education classrooms short half of the 14 positions.

The spokesperson said that is what prompted the decision to offer the parents the option of keeping the children home with an “excused absence.”

Gonzales said she made due with the move Friday, but says children on the Autism spectrum, like her son, rely on routine as part of their learning process and the problem cannot continue.

The district spokesperson said they had never heard of the problem of this magnitude before.

They did, however, acknowledge the district is dealing with a shortage of special education staff as is the rest of the country.