Kamloops-Thompson School District Optimistic Absenteeism Rates Will Continue to Fall

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The historical average absenteeism rate for students in January is 14%. This 14% rate was exceeded on 14 of the 16 teaching days last month

As of January, the historical student absenteeism rate in the Kamloops-Thompson School District is 14%.

In January 2022, with the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the community, the school district tallied absenteeism rates against the historical average.

According to a report by Superintendent Rhonda Nixon to the school board on Feb. 7, the daily average in the school district ranged from a low of 12 percent on Jan. 10 to a high of 23 percent on Jan. 21. The month ended Jan. 31 with a district-wide absenteeism rate of 19%.

Principals of 17 schools sent letters to students’ homes, notifying parents and guardians that their schools had experienced high absenteeism rates and that the school district was working with Interior Health to monitor the situation.

The district hasn’t had to close any schools due to the out-of-control spread of COVID-19, though there have been what it called functional school closures due to staffing issues: Secondary Chase January 17, Haldane Elementary in Chase on January 20, and Blue River Elementary on January 28.

In January, there were 3,009 requests for substitute teachers across the school district in January, including 384.5 unmet requests.

In January, there were 1,974 replacement requests for CUPE support staff in schools, of which 1,231 were not filled.

“Since our last report, we have seen a slow reduction in the number of absent teachers and corresponding vacancies each day,” Nixon wrote in his report. “Thanks to the support of district staff, the students had qualified teachers in their classrooms. Support staff absences remain high, but there are signs that things are improving. The district is optimistic that the worst is behind us and that more functional shutdowns will not be necessary to address staffing shortages as the Omicron variant has caught on. through the population. »

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