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School Climate Survey for Parents - FAQ

Survey for Parents

School Climate Survey for Parents - Frequently Asked Questions

What is OurSCHOOL/ School Climate Survey?
OurSCHOOL/ School Climate Survey is an online survey evaluation system designed by Dr. J. Doug Willams and The Learning Bar. A suite of surveys for students, teachers, and parents are available for use. The survey provides anonymous and reliable data to support bullying prevention and intervention plans and school improvement planning. There are currently 200 districts using OurSCHOOL across Canada, including 30 in Ontario.

OurSCHOOL/ School Climate Survey in the OCDSB
The OCDSB uses some of the OurSCHOOL measures and questions to compose an Effective Schools Student Survey on bullying, school safety and student engagement. Our SCHOOL also includes a parent school climate survey administered every 2 years. Parents are important partners in our work.

Why are we doing the survey?

  • The district is committed to gaining a better understanding of our parent population around school climate, their engagement and interaction with the school, and for parents to have a voice in school improvement. Parents will be able to share their ideas, thoughts or concerns about their school; their input will help make sure that their school is safe and welcoming.
  • To support schools in the development of their annual Bullying Prevention/Intervention plans and School Learning Plan.
  • The Education Act requires that each school complete a school climate survey at least once every two years on the school parent population.

Who will complete this survey?
All parents in the OCDSB will be invited to complete the survey. The invitation will come from each school. The parent/guardian survey has approximately 80 questions and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Questions are very short - either multiple choice, yes/no, or agree/disagree, and some open ended questions. 

Parents with multiple children at the same school may choose to complete one survey per child.

How will the survey be completed?
Schools will send a letter home to parents, which will include a link to access the survey that is unique to each school. Parents will need to click/enter the URL provided in the parent/guardian information letter. They may complete the survey from any computer, tablet, or laptop that has Internet access, and a web-browser such as Internet Explorer, Safari, or Chrome.

When will the survey be done?
The survey will be open between April 23rd and May 11th, 2018. Each school will send a letter home to parents with instructions on how to access the parent survey. The survey will be open to parents of the school for a specified period of time.

How is OurSCHOOL/ School Climate Survey anonymous?
The Learning Bar build in measures to ensure that the data collection is anonymous. The parent survey utilizes one school-login per school. Parent survey data is mixed with other parent data from the same grade of the child at the school. The login is not tied to any individual information. Parents access the survey via a secure web interface. When results are reported to schools, it is not possible for schools to see individual results, only aggregated data. The Learning Bar will automatically not report a survey measure result with less than 5 responses; open-ended questions must contain a minimum of 10 responses. Further support on anonymity and data suppression and reporting thresholds is provided by The Learning Bar.

How is the parent survey different from the Student Climate Survey?
Both the student and parent survey capture perceptions around school climate, engagement, safety and inclusion at school. We believe that seeking parents unique perspective on their interactions with the school and on school climate will help ensure that schools are welcoming environments for everyone. Additionally, the student survey is designed for Grade 4-12 students; the parent survey welcomes the perspective of K-3 students through parent participation.

What if I don't want to answer certain questions?
Completing the survey is voluntary. Individual questions can be skipped if you are not comfortable answering a particular question. Because of the survey composition, a specific survey measure will have a few questions related to it so that if an individual question is skipped, it will not affect the reliability of the measure.

How is the data going to be used?
Schools Principals and Safe and Accepting School teams will use the information provided to assist school staff in ensuring that our schools are positive, accepting and welcoming environments for not only our students, but our parent community. The data will also be used to help inform the school annual bullying prevention and intervention plan, and for school climate improvement.

How is the Parent School Climate Survey different from the 2017 Student Survey?
OurSchool/ School Climate Survey is a parent engagement survey on school climate. It is designed to give a perceptual snapshot on school climate from a parent's perspective, and is completed at the school level. Both surveys are confidential and voluntary, but the difference is that the OurSCHOOL survey is completely anonymous. The 2017 student survey was a demographic survey intended for students, whereas the OurSCHOOL parent survey is specifically designed for you to have a voice in how your child's school is working to ensure that you and your child are welcome, accepted, and valued by the school. 

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