2 Mississauga schools reach 30% absence rate

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Published January 24, 2022 at 10:01 pm

Two Mississauga schools had an absence rate of 30 per cent on the first day that the province’s new reporting system was in place.

Last week, in-person learning reopened for Ontario schoolchildren for the first time in a month, due to Christmas holidays and the Omicron-fuelled fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontario PC Party government decided to shift from case reporting in schools to monitoring the overall absence rates, with a one-school-day lag in reporting. Whether the students are absent due to COVID-19 or possible exposure is not known. In some school boards, students logging in for online learning who are not physically present may also be counted as present.


Based on provincial data, Peel Alternative School South had the highest absence rate, at 41.7 per cent. Peel Alternative focuses on individualized learning programs for students with unique needs and obligations, including at-risk students, students who need a flexible schedule due to work commitments, and teenage parents.

Brookmede Public School, on Council Ring Rd., reported a 30.2 absence rate. The data is considered current as of 2 p.m. the previous weekday, which in this case was Jan. 21.

Five other Mississauga schools within the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board (DPCDSB) and Peel District School Board (PDSB) were in the range of 25 per cent for absences.

Peel Alternative South PDSB 41.7
Brookmede PS PDSB 30.2
Marvin Heights PS PDSB 27.5
Queenston Drive PS PDSB 26.9
Forest Glen PS PDSB 25.9
Cashmere Avenue PS PDSB 25
St. Oscar Romero Catholic SS DPCDSB 24.7

The provincial data is expected to be updated at 10:30 a.m. each weekday morning.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has proven more transmissible than its predecessors.

On Jan. 19, as schools re-opened for in-person learning, Health Minister Christine Elliott said there is “very little evidence” that schools are leading to high levels of transmission of COVID-19.

“We know that there’s high levels of community transmission right now. But in schools themselves, as students go there, they have been made as safe as possible,” she said.

That included promises of more HEPA filters, N95 masks for teachers, and two rapid antigen tests and a mask for each student. Many school boards said they were still awaiting delivery as the students returned.

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