Board Message to Families - April 25, 2022

Limestone Learning Foundation
Board Message to Families
Posted on 04/25/2022

Since the start of January, schools have been required to report student absences to the Ministry of Education daily and connect with local public health units if absences cross a 30% threshold. To date, Limestone has sent KFL&A Public Health letters to six school communities.

We continue to work closely with KFL&A Public Health in monitoring student absences due to COVID-19 related reasons, and have created a COVID-19 Related Absence Reporting Dashboard to support our school communities with information about student COVID-19 related absences within our schools. In recent weeks, this data is what we have been monitoring, and we have now made the information publicly available on our website.

It is important to understand that the information presented in this dashboard is provided on a voluntary basis by parents or guardians when reporting their student’s absence from school due to a COVID-19 related reason. The dashboard only includes student COVID-19 related absences on a school level and does not include information on a grade or classroom level. Collecting and sharing voluntarily provided test results at the classroom level is problematic for two reasons: 

  1. This would require us to store and share private medical information.

  2. Very limited PCR testing is occurring and based on reports of public health officials and medical practitioners, Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) results have become less reliable as a gauge of positive or contagious cases, even if the person is symptomatic. In other words, when a person develops symptoms does not always align with when they may test positive on a RAT.

Providing school level data based on COVID-19 related absences may provide greater insight into COVID activity in a school community because it encompasses testing and symptoms, while also mitigating privacy concerns.

The information reported on the dashboard is voluntary and may not represent the full extent of COVID-19 cases in the Limestone District School Board. In addition, the data should not be confused with the PCR testing and reporting that was being led and tracked by KFL&A Public Health from September to December 2021. The dashboard will be updated daily with the previous day’s attendance. Friday’s absences will be reported on Monday.

We have made the decision to share this information with everyone because we are tracking the numbers closely while continuing to work with KFL&A Public Health in monitoring Limestone schools.

We appreciate all efforts made by staff, students, and families to accommodate the ongoing challenges and changes as we continue to navigate this together.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.