5 Brampton schools have absence rate above 30 per cent


Published January 24, 2022 at 10:30 pm

Five schools in Brampton reported absence rates of 30 per cent or higher last Friday, which was the first day under the province’s new reporting system.

The Ontario government has discontinued case-by-case reporting of confirmed COVID-19 cases, switching over to a monitoring system that shows absences without disclosing whether a student, teacher or education work has the virus or is isolating due to exposure. In any event, the number of schools in Brampton at 30 per cent could soon reach double digits, since the provincial data lists another five at 26.8 per cent or higher.

James Grieve Public School, at 32.0 per cent, had the highest absence rate in the city. Turner Fenton Secondary School was next at 31.9, followed by two elementary schools, Arnott Charlton (31.5) and Aloma Crescent (30.8), and Peel Alternative North (also 30.8).

The data on the government’s website is considered current as of 2 p.m. the previous weekday, and is updated around 10:30 a.m.. Since COVID-19 spread is exponential and the Ontario-wide data is one day behind, inBrampton is listing all schools that had an absence rate of at least 24 per cent on Jan. 21.

School Board Absence rate
James Grieve PS PDSB 32.0
Turner Fenton SS PDSB 31.9
Arnott Charlton PS PDSB 31.5
Aloma Crescent PS PDSB 30.8
Peel Alternative North PDSB 30.8
Hickory Wood PS PDSB 29.4
Judith Nyman SS PDSB 28.6
Larkspur PS PDSB 27.8
Aylesbury PS PDSB 27.2
Red Willow PS PDSB 26.8
Conestoga PS PDSB 25.7
Hanover PS PDSB 25.7
Peel Alternative North ISR PDSB 25.7
Jean Augustine SS PDSB 25.5
James Potter PS PDSB 25.4
Somerset Drive PS PDSB 25.4
Hewson E PS PDSB 25.0
Gordon Graydon Sr PS PDSB 24.9
Hanover PS PDSB 24.4
Eastbourne Drive PS PDSB 24.3
Harold F Loughin PS PDSB 24.3
Mount Pleasant Village PS PDSB 24.2
Nelson Mandela P.S. (Elem) PDSB 24.0
source: ontario.ca

Last Wednesday (Jan. 19), 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.

The Ontario PC Party government said at that time it would deliver more HEPA filters, N95 masks for teachers, and two rapid antigen tests and a mask for each student. Many school board employees across Ontario had spend hours re-sorting the rapid antigen tests, which came in packages of five, into the allotted two for each child.

Around one out of every 14 schools in Ontario had a 30 per cent absence rate last Friday. Ontario NDP education critic Marit Stiles said disclosing by-school data, as opposed to the former system of case reporting, was “laughably vague and offers little usefulness.”

Stiles added, “Parents across Ontario looking at this information will be left with more questions than answers.

“We cannot risk students’ health, or more school closures. The goal must be to keep every school open until June. To do that, the Ford government needs to reinstate testing, tracing, and actual COVID-19 case reporting, so that parents are alerted whenever there’s an infection in their child’s classroom.”

During the pandemic, Ontario students have lost 27 weeks of in-person learning. That is the most in any jurisdiction in North America.

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