Every Student Belongs Survey

Ready to take the survey?

If you are a student in grade 7 to 12, check your TVDSB email for your unique link to the survey.

For families of students in kindergarten to grade 6, check the email address of the person you have listed as the primary contact for a link to the survey beginning on March 11th.


 

Why take the Every Student Belongs Survey?

The purpose of the Every Student Belongs Survey is to collect quality, relevant, and confidential student demographic data to enable and mobilize evidence-based decision-making in TVDSB. This work is informed by the Ministry of Education's Equity Action Plan. We want to gain a better understanding of who our students are so that we can better support them.

What are our goals?

  • Understand and support the diversity of our students and families
  • Eliminate barriers for students and families
  • Align teaching, learning, and engagement opportunities with the lived experiences of TVDSB students
  • Inform system policies, procedures, and practices
  • Strive for a workforce that reflects our student population

Contact Information

Questions can be sent by email at everystudentbelongs@tvdsb.ca or by phoning 519-452-2000 ext. 20496.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the Every Student Belongs Survey?

The purpose of the survey is to collect quality, relevant, confidential student demographic data to enable and mobilize evidence-based decision-making in TVDSB. This work is informed by the Ministry of Education’s Equity Action Plan. We want to gain a better understanding of who our students are so that we can better support them. Specifically, the goals of the student survey are to understand and support the diversity of our students and their families; eliminate barriers for students and their families; align teaching, learning, and engagement opportunities with the lived experiences of TVDSB students; inform system policies, procedures, and practices; and strive for a workforce that reflects our student population.

How is the Every Student Belongs Survey connected to student success?

The data we collect from the survey will inform policies, programs, and practices that support more inclusive learning environments for students. By understanding our TVDSB students and their families, we can offer teaching, learning, and engagement opportunities that align with students’ lived experiences. When opportunities in school align with students’ experiences and identities, students are in a better position to engage with school and achieve success.

How will students benefit from participating in the Every Student Belongs Survey?

By completing the survey, students, parents, and guardians will be informing and contributing to important decisions in TVDSB and helping to make it a better place to learn for all students.

Have other school boards collected identity-based data from their students?

Several other Ontario school boards have already engaged in this work or are currently collecting identity-based data from their students (e.g., Durham District School Board, Peel District School Board, Toronto District School Board, York Region District School Board).

What types of questions will be included in the Every Student Belongs Survey?

The survey will include identity-based questions as recommended by Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan. Specific areas of focus will include (but will not be limited to) disability, ethnicity, gender identity, immigration status, language, racial identity, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

Who was involved in the Every Student Belongs Survey planning and development?
The survey was developed by the Every Student Belongs core team, based primarily on questions provided by the Ministry of Education. The core team is from Research and Assessment Services. The process will be guided by the core team, as well as a larger Steering Committee comprised of the TVDSB Diversity and Equity Coordinator, as well as staff from Research and Assessment Services, Equity, Indigenous Education, and Special Education. Several resources were accessed in the planning and development of the survey, including, the Data Standards for the Identification and Monitoring of Systemic Racism, the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan, the 2016 Canadian Census, and student surveys conducted by other school boards in Ontario.  Extensive consultations with TVDSB system-level groups (e.g., Special Education; Indigenous Education; Equity, Safe Schools, and Well-Being, English as a Second Language) as well as community organizations have been conducted. Feedback on the survey will also be solicited from TVDSB staff, students, and families.
How can feedback be provided on the survey questions before the survey is sent out?

The draft survey is available to review by clicking on the “Preview” button above. Please note that the survey questions are not confidential, and you are welcome to share with anyone who you feel would be interested in reviewing the questions. If you would like to provide feedback, please contact us by email at everystudentbelongs@tvdsb.ca  or phone at 519-452-2000 extension 20496.

Is the Every Student Belongs Survey mandatory?

No. The survey is completely voluntary. However, we encourage students, parents, and guardians to complete it to ensure the results most closely represent our students and provide the system with useful information for planning purposes. With a high completion rate, TVDSB can use the information to ensure that our existing programs and policies, as well as programs and policies that we are looking to implement, meet the current needs of our students.

Who will be invited to complete the Every Student Belongs Survey?

All TVDSB students will be invited to complete the survey. For students in Kindergarten to Grade 6, parents and guardians will be invited to complete the survey on behalf of their child. Grade 7 to 12 students will complete the survey themselves.
Does the Every Student Belongs Survey comply with the law?

The information students provide is collected under the legal authority of the Education Act in compliance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act [MFIPPA] and is consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code. The information will be collected for educational, research, and program and policy development purposes only. The information will be used, disclosed, and retained in accordance with MFIPPA. 

How will the privacy of students be protected?

The survey is confidential but not anonymous. That is, students’ identities could be determined by staff in TVDSB’s Research and Assessment Services, but not by any other individual inside or outside of TVDSB. The survey link that each student, parent or guardian receives is unique. Survey data from completed surveys will be stored on encrypted third party servers and kept confidential. Direct access to the data will be restricted to Research and Assessment Services. TVDSB software will connect data (responses) from the unique survey link to other stored data from students (e.g., achievement data), using students’ Ontario Education Numbers.  When working with the data, Research Associates will work with files that contain Ontario Education Numbers and not student names. Reports and communication materials will not include any data or information that could potentially identify an individual student.

For more information about privacy related to this survey, please see our Privacy Preliminary and Project Analysis Questionnaire.

When will students be invited to complete the survey?

The survey will open in December 2020. Students will be given time to complete the survey during their regular school day, regardless of whether they are currently learning in person or through remote learning. 

How will students, parents, and guardians access the Every Student Belongs Survey?

Students will receive a unique survey link in their GOTVDSB student email and parents and guardians will receive the link in the email of the primary parent or guardian on file with TVDSB. The survey will be completed online and can be completed on any type of device (e.g., desktop computer, tablet, mobile phone). We encourage all participants to complete the survey online if possible. Online completion allows for more efficient reporting so that the results will be available to the system sooner. It is also more cost effective. However, for those who are unable to complete the survey online, paper copies and an option to complete the survey over the phone will be made available. If you would like to request a paper copy of the survey, or would like to complete the survey by phone, please contact us by email at everystudentbelongs@tvdsb.ca or phone at 519-452-2000 ext. 20496.
How long does it take to complete the Every Student Belongs Survey?

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete. All students in Grades 7 to 12 will be given time to complete the survey during their regular school day.

Do participants need to answer every question on the survey?
No. Participants are welcome to leave any question blank for any reason. If a participant chooses to skip a question, the data will still be included for all other questions for which they have provided responses.
Do participants have the option to save their responses and resume the online survey at a later time?

No. The survey should be completed at one time. However, the full survey is available on the website to view and download prior to completing the survey, if a student, parent, or guardian would like to consider the questions ahead of time.

My child is in Grade 7 to 12. What do I do if I don’t feel comfortable with my child completing the survey?

If you do not want your child in Grade 7 to 12 to complete the survey, please let your child's teacher or principal know. We will not send a survey link to your child, and your child’s teacher will provide another activity for your child to do while the survey is being completed by other students.

I want to complete the survey, but I can’t complete it online. What can I do?

For students, parents, or guardians who are unable to complete the survey online, paper copies will be made available. The survey can also be completed over the phone. If you would like to request a paper copy of the survey, or would like to complete the survey by phone, please contact us by email at everystudentbelongs@tvdsb.ca or phone at 519-452-2000 extension 20496.

Can the survey be completed in a language other than English?

The survey link will include the option to read and complete the survey in several different languages that are considered the most common languages in TVDSB. If you require translation into a different language, please contact us by email at everystudentbelongs@tvdsb.ca or phone at 519-452-2000 extension 20496.

How will the results of the Every Student Belongs Survey be shared?

A summary of the results will be made available to TVDSB students, families, and staff. Findings will be presented in such a way that no individual student could be identified.

How will the information collected as part of the Every Student Belongs Survey be used by TVDSB?

The TVDSB is committed to understanding, supporting, and responding to our diverse student body. Results from this survey will provide us with important demographic data to better understand and support our students and to inform the ongoing work of the system.

Who will ensure follow-up actions after the Every Student Belongs Survey results have been shared?

As with all major Board activities, staff will identify appropriate follow-up actions once the data have been analyzed and the results have been shared.
What if students or their families have questions about the survey and/or the process?

We welcome any thoughts and/or questions that you may have at any time. Please contact us by email at everystudentbelongs@tvdsb.ca or by phone at 519-452-2000 extension 20496.

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