Monitoring School Absence Rates in the UGDSB
January 18, 2022
Prior to the winter break, schools regularly provided notification to the school community when they received notification from Public Health that an individual at the school tested positive for COVID-19. The province recently announced that Public Health Units will no longer be reporting positive cases or conducting contact tracing for positive cases related to a staff or student in schools. As a result, schools will no longer be providing notification when there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has said that COVID-19 is to be considered widely present in our communities at this time and therefore it is reasonable to suspect that someone in our school may have COVID-19. We don’t have confirmation of positive COVID-19 cases in our schools, as only Public Health can confirm positive cases. However, it is reasonable to suspect that at this time, COVID-19 may be in our schools.
As an additional measure and layer of communication to keep our communities informed, the UGDSB has launched a pilot initiative to track school absence rates on a daily basis. This process is a pilot program and may evolve as required. Once in-person learning resumes, the board will post data daily from Monday to Friday on the UGDSB public website.
VISIT THE TRACKING DASHBOARD: Daily Absence Tracking Pilot
The webpage shows the percentage point increase or decrease of all UGDSB school absence rates compared to the baseline, the percentage point change from the previous day, as well as graphs showing trends in absence rates. The chart will also indicate when a school is 30% above the average absenteeism by highlighting the cell where the school name is located.
The UGDSB’s pilot program is meant to give a sense of the impact of COVID-19 on schools, as positive cases will no longer be reported.
Additionally, following the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the board will also notify Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health when absenteeism in a school is 30% above the average absenteeism.
For additional layers of protective measures the UGDSB has in place at schools, we invite you to review the information on the board website, including:
- Protective measures in UGDSB schools
- Reminders of daily screening and what to do if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19
- Revised criteria for UGDSB student mask exemptions
- Guide for Families: Proper Use and Care of Cloth Masks
- Ventilation and air quality enhancements, including HEPA filtration units in 100% of UGDSB classrooms
- Temporary Remote Learning Option for elementary students
Other helpful resources:
We recognize that these have been challenging times for many families and appreciate the continued support and collaboration that has allowed us to provide optimal learning environments. Thank you for your continued efforts to ensure our schools remain safe and engaging places for our students to learn.