WELLINGTON COUNTY – The Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) is launching a student census – a survey of students that will help develop programs and determine staff training.
The census is for all students, from kindergarten to Grade 12, although students can choose to opt out if they wish.
Parents and legal guardians will fill out the survey for students from kindergarten to Grade 8; high school students can fill it out themselves.
“The Ministry of Education is requiring that school boards begin collecting identity-based data on students in order to help identify and monitor barriers for racialized students, as well as students who are connected to the margins,” officials state on the school board website.
According to its equity plan, the board “has a responsibility to identify and describe racism and oppression and then work to dismantle it. The Upper Grand District School Board is committed to disrupting systemic racism and oppression in all its forms.”
The board will use the information to identify and name specific areas where bias and oppression are creating barriers to racialized and marginalized students.
“Only through identifying and naming areas of oppression will UGDSB be able to make systemic changes that will create more equitable outcomes for all our students,” the board states.
The survey asks about first languages spoken in the home, ethic or cultural origins including Indigenous cultural heritage, religion, gender identity and sexual orientation, disabilities, citizenship and socio-economic status.
The student identity-based data will be joined with existing data in all of the areas below and then analyzed with the single purpose of identifying areas where UGDSB’s policies and programs are creating barriers to the educational outcomes of students based on their identity.
-Special education services;
-Academic/extracurricular program participation;
-Graduation rates; and
-Pathways (applied, academic, essential & workplace, university, college).
The deadline for surveys is Oct. 9.
Students in Grades 9 to 12 will be given class time to complete the survey.
Once the data is collected, the board will engage in consultation with a number of groups including students, parents/guardians, staff, and the board’s advisory committees including the First Nations Metis and Inuit Education Council, Parent Involvement Committee, and the Safe Equitable and Inclusive Schools Steering Committee.
More information can be found at www.ugdsb.ca/census.