According to data provided by school boards to the Ontario government, more than 15% of all staff and students in Toronto public schools were absent on Friday.
According to Ministry of Education data, 23 of the 385 Toronto District School Board (TDSB) schools that submitted absence data for last Friday had absences of more than 30%, with all but two being high schools where students are preparing for or taking examinations.
The two TDSB elementary schools where absences were above 30 per cent on Friday were Shoreham Public School and Walter Perry Junior Public School.
Across all TDSB schools that submitted data on Friday, the average absence rate was 17 per cent.
In the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TDCSB) only 105 of 206 schools in the board submitted absence data for Friday.
Of those, one high school – Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School – reported 30 per cent of its staff and students were absent, with all other schools posting smaller rates of absence.
St. Joseph’s College School reported 25 per cent of staff and students were absent while St. Luigi Catholic School said 23 per cent of staff and students were away on Friday.
Across all TCDSB schools that submitted data for Jan. 28, the average absence rate was 10 per cent.
Across all 492 Toronto schools that submitted data for that day, the average absence rate was 15.3 per cent.
The numbers appear to be a dip from this time last week when the TDSB reported an average absence rate of 22.88 per cent and the TCDSB reported an average absence rate of 14.51 per cent.
At the time there were a total of 70 schools in Toronto reporting an absentee rate above 30 per cent, including 17 with an absence rate north of 40 per cent.
The province has said that parents will only be directly notified once a school hits a 30 per cent absentee rate above baseline attendance and that closures can only be considered, and not necessarily implemented, at that time.
While Toronto school boards will continue to notify impacted classes of any positive COVID-19 cases they become aware of, the province no longer requires that degree of disclosure.
These tally do not include students who are absent due to travel or short-term remote learning.
Peel Region’s school boards reported an average absence rate of 13.6 percent, Halton’s boards reported 6.5 percent, York Region’s boards recorded 10.4 percent of all staff and children absent on Friday, and Durham reported a 13.6 percent average absence rate.
Only 68 percent of the province’s 4,844 schools submitted attendance data for the 28th of January.