TLDSB Hosts First-Ever Forum On Better Understanding Student Absenteeism


On May 31, Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) director of education, Wes Hahn, alongside associate superintendent of learning, Tanya Fraser, hosted a new forum to better understand student absenteeism. In attendance were trustees, parents/guardians, community agency partners, elementary and secondary administrators and educators, school support staff, central staff, and Mental Health Services Department staff from across the Board.

“Parents/guardians and community partners play a key role in supporting positive student attendance and are important groups for TLDSB to engage with to better understand why students may be absent from school,” says Hahn. “This forum wasn’t to come up with all the solutions, but rather to investigate potential barriers and discuss ways in which TLDSB can support optimal student attendance. Creating a common understanding about why good attendance is important for the student’s educational and life-long journey is essential. ”

A goal set by the Ministry of Education, and one that TLDSB strives toward, is to have all students attend 90 percent or more of instructional days in the school year. Historical trends in both elementary and secondary student attendance in TLDSB are well below the provincial benchmark.

“We have high learning and engagement expectations for our students and attendance is an instrumental part of this,” said Fraser. “We know that healthy relationships and routines are critical components for students to be successful at school and in their lives beyond secondary school. We value the voice from our families, community partners, educators, and students to better understand the factors that are impeding regular school attendance.”

With the information gathered from attendees, as well as data gathered as part of the community partner breakfasts and student and educator voice forums hosted in TLDSB this school year, TLDSB staff will be using the feedback to implement effective strategies and supports in the system.


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