Health department wants more info about student absences in Oakville, Milton, Burlington

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Published December 7, 2023 at 12:11 pm

Parents of students in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills are being asked to be more specific about why their kids are missing school.

According to a message sent by both the public and Catholic school boards, the Region’s Public Health Department is looking for more information when a student has to miss classes.

Beginning in January, parents will be asked to select the new category that best describes their illness:

  • Cough or cold symptoms with a fever
  • Cough or cold symptoms without a fever
  • Stomach symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea
  • Any other kind of illness

All other categories will remain the same.

The reason for the change is to allow Public Health to better understand the type of illness that may be causing any observed increases in school absence rates.

The process to report your child’s absence through SchoolMessenger or over the phone will remain the same.

The school board will resume sharing aggregate absence rate data with Public Health but will continue to protect privacy. Schools will only share the number of students who are absent per category, not individual student data.

All information that is collected by Public Health will be treated in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act, and where applicable, the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

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