Ontario School Absence Reporting

Ontario School Absence Reporting
Posted on 01/24/2022
Ontario School Absence Reporting

The Ontario COVID-19: school closures and absenteeism report provides a list of schools and school boards that have reported staff and student absences. For each school, the table shows a combined percentage of students and staff who are reported as absent for multiple reasons, not just illness or absences related to COVID.

In providing this information, OCDSB schools submit daily absence reports regarding how many students and staff were physically present in a school on a given day. This information does not include details on why these individuals were not present (i.e. whether they were sick, self-isolating due to a household contact experiencing symptoms, or any other reason that someone may not come to school). Students who must stay home due to a class or school closure as a result of operational issues or staffing challenges will not be recorded as absent.

We are working through the guidance on reporting provided by the Ministry of Education and will be supporting school principals to ensure accurate reporting of data.

It is important to note that the first update included data from January 21st, which was a PA Day for all OCDSB elementary schools. 

Schools with absenteeism rates of 30 per cent or more, in addition to their baseline rate, must report to the Ministry of Education and also send a notification, in collaboration with the public health unit, to the school community reinforcing prevention measures such as daily screening. OCDSB schools will also notify OPH when their absenteeism rates are greater than 30 per cent of the school population (without consideration of the baseline) to facilitate an earlier review of prevention measures that are in place. 

Note: Historically, when we review absence data, we see a daily average of approximately 7% at the elementary level and 17% at the secondary level. This can vary by school and the unique nature of programs at some schools can have an impact.  For example absence data for the Adult High School and the secondary alternate sites tends to be higher than the average. On the day in question, some adult students with children may have chosen to stay home on the PA day. 

We continue to remind all families to screen their children every day before school and keep them home if they are sick.

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