The UGDSB is reporting daily on school absence rates. This process is a pilot program and may evolve as required.
Rationale: COVID-19 testing and outbreak management has changed to focus provincial resources on the highest risk settings (eg hospitals, long term care homes, etc.). Staff and student contact tracing in schools will no longer be a part of the process and COVID-19 cases will not routinely be reported to schools. 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. This pilot program was launched in addition to the numerous proactive health and safety measures in place to help ensure safe, accepting and inclusive learning and working environments.
Notes about the pilot program:
- The reason the UGDSB launched this pilot program was so that starting on the first day back to in-person learning, we were able to report on school-based data and collect information to monitor the absence trends being experienced.
- In looking through the daily data, it is important to look at the trendlines for each school. Because health officials are no longer reporting positive cases, monitoring the trends in absenteeism rates can provide us with helpful information.
- The board chose to calculate this data using a baseline absenteeism rate and excluding cases known to not be related to COVID isolation or illness, to give us a better sense of the impact of COVID-19 on schools.
- The UGDSB threshold is more sensitive than simply reporting when a school reaches 30% of absences for the overall school population. Because the UGDSB method highlights when a school is 30% above the school’s “average absenteeism rate,” this results in more frequent reporting of absence data to Public Health, erring on the side of over-reporting vs under-reporting. In the first two weeks of in-person learning in January, none of our schools reached the 30% of overall 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.
- To see an example of the difference between the UGDSB method of reporting against the baseline, vs reporting on overall absences, please see the graph below.
- We value your feedback. If you have feedback regarding the UGDSB pilot program, we encourage you to reach out to the board at [email protected]using the subject line “Absence Tracking Pilot.”
- If you have questions about your school’s data specifically, please reach out to your school principal.
- For a more detailed technical explanation of the UGDSB method and data, please visit the board website.
Last Updated: April 08, 2022