Here Campaign Launch

In Northern Ontario, the scope of persistent absenteeism is wide. That’s why we’ve created the Here campaign, for use by school boards across our region, to give “every school day counts” champions a brand, a name, and a voice. School board staff can use the Here campaign tools as a springboard to form directed, focused plans to combat absenteeism and bring students back to school.

This campaign’s aim is to build awareness around the attendance issues in our region and to provide communication tools to help improve attendance in our schools.

In Ontario, school boards in the Thunder Bay Region have the highest rates of persistent absenteeism  at a whopping 21.6 percent. Based on 194 days of instruction, an Ontario elementary student who misses 19 days of school is deemed persistently absent. With the number of student appointments, sporting events, family commitments, travel days, and illness, it doesn’t take long to reach this number.

Studies and research support what teachers instinctively know: that student absence negatively affects academic performance and important emotional and social connections are compromised. These are a few possible outcomes for students who miss school:

  • Students who miss an average of two days per month in elementary school stand a 60% chance of dropping out in grade nine. (Every School Day Counts: Persistent Absenteeism in Ontario, 2016).
  • When students have high absenteeism in Grade 9, they are much more likely to drop out, and less likely to graduate. (Study of Absenteeism in the Toronto Board of Education, 1850 – 1997 by Robert S. Brown).
  • Students who are “not very involved at school” and “don’t like school much” are at greater risk of aggressive behaviour, substance abuse, smoking, violence, high risk sexual behaviour, and future attendance issues. (Statistics Canada’s National Longitudinal Study of Children & Youth 2005).
  • A higher absenteeism rate in kindergarten is associated with lower achievement in Grade 3. (Starting Early: A PDF Report prepared for the Education Quality and Accountability Office).

Official Website


Member Boards

  • Aurores Boreal
  • Superior North Catholic District School Board
  • Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
  • Lakehead Public Schools
  • Keewatin Patricia District School Board
  • Superior Greenstone
  • The Northwest Catholic District School Board
  • Kenora Catholic District School Board
  • Rainy River District School Board

In Partnerships With

  • Seven Generations Education Institute
  • Confederation College
  • Ontario
  • Lakehead University