Parents will be told of COVID-19 cases in Mississauga, Brampton school classrooms


Published April 1, 2022 at 7:55 pm

The Catholic school board for Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon will resume informing families when a child’s class has a “presumed positive case” of COVID-19.

The Dufferin-Peel Catholic Distrist School Board (DPCDSB) will not dismiss an entire elementary school class or secondary school cohort because of a COVID-19 case. But a community information bulletin that the board released on Friday (April 1) says they are resuming the practice of sharing information, rather than leaving it up to people to make a guess about how much COVID-19 is affecting a child’s class.

Until mid-January, parents and guardians were told when there was a positive case in a class or cohort. That was phased out in favour of only report at-large absence rates for an entire school population, with no indication about the extent that COVID-19 cases of precautionary self-isolating affected the numbers.

The board says it made the decision based on parental feedback.

“Notification is being provided as a courtesy to parents/guardians and will only be initiated based on principals being informed by a parent/guardian or staff member that a student or staff member is symptomatic, and/or has received a positive test result and is isolating.”

Using the province’s Screening Tool is also encouraged.

The change comes two weeks after the Ontario Ministry of Education removed mandatory masking from the minimum COVID-19 safety measures in schools, making it optional. Nearly all school boards across Southern Ontario followed suit. The sole exception was the Hamilton-Wentworth public board (HWDSB), which extended masking until April 1. The Hamilton board is switching to optional masking as of Monday (April 4).

The absence rates are reported to the province each day and updated the following morning. Within the Dufferin-Peel Catholic board, Sir Oscar Romero Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga had the highest absence rate in the board on Thursday at 36.2 per cent. However, Romero Secondary’s educational focus includes alternative learning programs for students whose needs and life priorities may not fit well with conventional classrooms.

In Mississauga, St. Charles Garnier had a 20.2 absence rate and St. Joseph posted a rate of 18.8.

Our Lady of Fatima had the highest absence rate of any Catholic elementary school in Brampton, also at 18.8 per cent.

In Caledon, the highest absence rate in school was 20.1, at St. Evan.

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