Below are Frequently Asked Questions to help answer any questions our families may have about the Student Census. 

What is the WRDSB Student Census?

The WRDSB Student Census is a confidential and voluntary survey for all parents/guardians of students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 and for all students in Grades 4 to 12. The goal of the student census is to better understand the diversity within the WRDSB. The census will allow us to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural, social and demographic makeup of our students. The census will be launched on April 19, 2021.

Why do we have a Student Census?

The Student Census aligns with the WRDSB’s commitments to equity and inclusion and evidence-based decision-making. Ontario school boards are mandated to collect identity-based student information by 2023 under Ontario’s Anti-Racism Act. Identity-based data collection is also supported by the Ministry of Education’s Education Equity Secretariat and the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

What questions will be in the Student Census?

The census will include questions about students’ cultural, social, and sociodemographic identity. It specifically asks about Indigenous status, ethnic/cultural background, racial identity, first language, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, health/disability status, socioeconomic circumstances, age, and grade.

Is the Student Census confidential?

The WRDSB Student Census is confidential, but it is not anonymous. Individual student information will not be reported on. A small number of WRDSB research and information technology staff will be able to match census responses to student email addresses and identification numbers but only when required for the purposes of conducting research. In all reports, student information will be combined with the information of other students in a way that will not allow individual students to be identified. The WRDSB Student Census process follows provincial freedom of information and privacy laws (i.e.,  Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, MFIPPA). Detailed information on our privacy and data security protocols is available on the Student Census webpage.

How was the Student Census prepared?

The Student Census is aligned to our WRDSB’s Operational Plan and our commitment to an organizational culture rooted in human rights and equity. WRDSB staff conducted consultations with students, diverse community members, Ontario’s Education Equity Secretariat, and other Ontario school boards to ensure that our process was based on the best advice and best strategies available.

Can you opt-out of the Student Census?

Every question on the Student Census is optional. Every student and parent/guardian can choose which (if any) questions they wish to answer. Parents/guardians of children under 18 years of age can request that their child not participate in Student Census. Information on opting out of the Student Census can be found on the Student Opt-Out Process webpage.

More Questions?

For more questions about the WRDSB Student Census and the importance of this initiative please visit the WRDSB Student Census page or contact the WRDSB Research Department at research@wrdsb.ca.