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Daily Absence Tracking Pilot: Technical Explanation

Explaining the Data in the UGDSB’s Daily Absence Tracking Pilot

To help further explain the data and calculations, please see the chart and graphs below. The first chart and explanation following it breaks down the numbers and shows the math. 

UGDSB Attendance Tool Explained:

What does this mean?

The two following graphs, using the same data, show when a notification to Public Health is triggered, using both the UGDSB threshold of 30% above the school’s average absenteeism rate (red line), vs 30% of the overall absences (blue line). As you can see, the UGDSB process is much more sensitive, resulting in more instances of reporting to Public Health that a school has reached the 30% threshold, erring on the side of over-reporting rather than under-reporting. When the board sends notification to Public Health, we take any direction they provide with regards to next steps, if required. To date, none of our schools would have met the 30% of population threshold to send a notice to Public Health. With the UGDSB method and threshold we have sent more than 50 notices to Public Health since in-person learning resumed in January. If you have questions or concerns about your school, please contact the school principal.

Definitions for the Data in the Daily Absence Tracking Pilot

Total Number of Students and Staff

This includes all students who attend a particular school. It does not include those students who are registered and attend either the Elementary Remote Program and the Secondary Remote Program. Staff includes all teachers, educational assistants, administration and support staff who are assigned to that site.

Absences Compared to the Average (percentage point increase or decrease)

This includes all students who are absent and have not reported a non-COVID reason for their absence to their school, adjusted for the average absence rate for that particular school. The average absence rate was calculated for each school based on attendance data from September 2021 to December 2021. This figure is used as a baseline to compare daily absences, so as to not overstate potential COVID-related absences.

For example, School A had an average daily absence rate of 10% from September to December, 2021. On January 17, the school has an absence rate of 15%. The number that would be reported under this column would be a percentage point increase of 5.

For staff, the percentage reported includes all staff who are off for COVID-related reasons. These totals are aggregated to protect the identity of any staff and students who may be absent related to COVID.

Change from Previous Day

This number indicates the percentage point change from the previous day, and whether that change is an increase or decrease. 

The charts also indicate when a school is 30% above the average absenteeism by highlighting the cell where the school name is located.