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Elena Andrew is the Innu School Board’s director of education in Sheshatshiu. (Katie Breen/CBC) The Innu School Board is appealing to and Northern Affairs Canada for more funding so students won’t have to stay home from Sheshatshiu Innu School when teachers call in sick.

The board filed a proposal for money to offer teachers subsidized housing in order to offset high rent prices — something the board said has been detrimental to recruitment efforts. Sheshatshiu Innu School cancelled at least 11 individual classes in the month of May. (Katie Breen/CBC) Sheshatshiu Innu School started last September with eight vacancies and relied on its substitute pool to cover full-time positions. According to Elena Andrew, the board’s director of education in Sheshatshiu, this reliance created a substitute shortage.

When a teacher can’t make it in and a substitute can’t be arranged, individual classes are cancelled. Sheshatshiu Innu School cancelled at least 11 classes in May. ‘Not an acceptable practice’

"I mean, it’s not an acceptable practice. But when you have nobody in the class to teach, you have no choice but to cancel the class," Andrew told CBC Radio’s Labrador Morning .

"We’ve made offers to teachers and they just simply can’t afford the housing in the Goose Bay area." A student at Mushua Innu Natuashish School works on a math sheet. The Innu School Board covers Mushua Innu Natuashish School and Sheshatshiu Innu School. (Jacob Barker/CBC) Staffing levels look better for next September, but there are still openings. According to Andrew, that means a possibility of individual class cancellations next year.

In a statement, the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs said "we are working with the province and the Innu Nation to come up with a long-term plan to move forward with this project as soon as possible." Money tight

The board […]

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