Osoyoos Elementary and Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary in Oliver have both met the threshold for low attendance that requires Interior Health to be contacted.
In a Jan. 20 letter home to families of Osoyoos Elementary, principal David Foster wrote that based on a review of attendance patterns it sent a signal that the situation needed to be monitored.
It’s not known at this time if the absences are COVID-19 related, he added. He stressed that it is critical to notify the school why a child is absent so they can update their records.
According to the Minister of Health, a threshold is met when attendance is about 10 per cent lower than normal. When the threshold is met, it doesn’t indicate a school closure is next.
A functional closure of a school is the temporary closure of a school due to a lack of staff to provide the required level of teaching, supervision, support, and/or custodial to ensure the health and safety of students, said the B.C. government.
Last week, three schools in School District 67 were sent home letters for low attendance leading to Interior Health getting involved.
Schools with low attendance were Princess Margaret Secondary, Penticton Secondary and Uplands Elementary.
There have been no functional closures of schools in SD67 or SD53.
Armstrong Elementary did have a week-long closure when staffing levels couldn’t be met last week.
Also, this week’s provincial exams across B.C. have been postponed because of low staffing levels across the province.
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