Admin

Frequently Asked Questions

I received a link to complete the survey for a student that is not my child?
A: If you receive a link for a student that is not your child, it is possible that your email address is on the school records for that child. Please email valuingvoices@ocdsb.ca so that we can contact your school and correct the email address in their database.  We will then coordinate the sending of the survey link to parents of that child. Please delete the message with the incorrect link.

I received an email to complete the survey for my child but they are no longer in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board?
A: Please email valuingvoices@ocdsb.ca so we may update our records. You may disregard the email. 

What if I do not want my child to participate in this survey? 
The Student Survey is voluntary. Students and parents may choose not to respond to specific questions, or they may choose not to participate at all. For students in K-grade 6, parents will provide consent by completing the survey.  If the parent does not consent, they simply do not complete the survey. For students in grades 7-12, parents may email valuingvoices@ocdsb.ca and request that there child(ren) be exempt from completing the survey. Please provide the child's full name, school and grade in this email.  

I have more than one child in the district. How do I complete surveys for each of my children? 

If you have more than one child in the district in Grades K-6, you will receive one email for each child. Please ensure you use the survey link in each email as each link
is unique to a particular student. If you attempt to use the same link, the system will generate a message that says the survey has been completed and the results are saved. If this is not the problem, please try the following:

  • when viewing the second or third email, select the option to fully expand the email prior to opening the link so that you are not viewing a cached version of the email message;

  • try opening the second or third survey link in an incognito or private browsing window; and/or

  • clear your browser's cache and cookies.

Should you have further issues completing the survey please email valuingvoices@ocdsb.ca.


What is the purpose of collecting identity-based data?

The collection of identity-based data will help the District identify where systemic barriers and bias exist within our system with a view to eliminating these barriers through changes to policy, procedure, programs and practices that affect students, staff, and the communities we serve. Specifically, findings from the Valuing Voices Student Survey will help the District:

  • better understand the unique and diverse characteristics of the OCDSB student population;
  • identity and respond to barriers to student learning and well-being; and
  • enhance its capacity to serve its increasingly diverse student population and client communities.

What types of questions are being asked on the survey?

The survey includes questions about: language, Indigenous identity, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious/spiritual affiliation and/or creed, disabilities, and socioeconomic status. Perceptual questions relating to school experiences and opportunities, sense of belonging, and well-being are also included.

What gives the school board the right to collect this information?

The Ontario Anti-Racism Act (2017) and its accompanying Data Standards for the Identification and Monitoring of System Racism provide a framework for school Districts to collect identity-based data for the purpose of identifying and eliminating system barriers and bias. This work is also governed by the Education Act and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Is the survey anonymous?

The survey is confidential but not anonymous.  Student names will not appear on the survey, but each survey will include a unique survey ID.  The unique ID will only be used by research staff at the District to link survey data to other data sets (e.g.,achievement outcomes, participation rates in different programs/courses, suspension rates, etc.). This is necessary in order to identify trends and to develop programs, policies, and practices aimed at improving outcomes and services.

How will confidentiality be maintained?

Data from the survey will be stored in a database that does not contain information which could identify individual students. This unique identifier will be used to link survey data to other data (e.g., achievement) in order to identity groups of students who are being underserved so that we can implement strategies, programs, and services to better meet their unique needs. The database will only be accessible to a small team of research staff at the District office for the purpose of analysis and reporting. Reporting will be based on groups of students, and not at the individual student level in order to protect students’ privacy.

Is the survey voluntary?

Yes, the Student Survey is voluntary. Students and parents may choose not to respond to specific questions, or they may choose not to participate at all. It’s important to note, however, that the higher the completion rate, the more reliable the information will be in helping us to identify and remove systemic barriers and bias, and provide better services to our students and communities.

Who is being asked to complete the survey?

  • Parents of children in Kindergarten through grade 6 will complete the survey on behalf of their child(ren). 
  • Students in grades 7-12 will complete the survey during class time at school.

What is the consent process for participation in this survey?

  • For students in K-grade 6, parents will provide consent by completing the survey.  If the parent does not consent, they simply do not complete the survey.
  • For students in grades 7-12, parents may complete an opt-out form indicating that they do not consent to their child’s participation.  The form is included in the information letter and it must be returned by November 8th, 2019.

Why did the school district decide to use an opt out consent process?

The Ontario Anti-Racism Act provides the legislative framework for school districts to collect this data for the purpose of identifying and eliminating systemic barriers and bias that negatively impact students, staff and communities that are served. The district recognizes that decisions about consent in relation to data collection involving students are made on a case-by-case basis by parents. Recognizing that the survey is voluntary, the opt-out consent model seemed to be the best method for managing individual decisions about participation.

How will the Valuing Voices Survey Data be used?

Survey responses will be analyzed by research staff at the District office for the purposes described above and a series of reports will be generated, beginning with District level results from the survey in the spring of 2020 that will provide a comprehensive overview of the OCDSB student population; school level reports will follow, ensuring that the detailed level of reporting maintains the confidentiality of individuals. Beginning in the fall of 2020, District-level reporting that requires the linkage of survey data with student outcomes will begin to be incorporated into existing reports. (e.g., the Annual Student Achievement Report).

When will the collection of identity-based data take place?

Data collection will take place between November 26 and December 13, 2019.

In our society, people are often described by their race or racial background.
Which racial group(s) best describes your child? Select all that apply.

Black (African, Afro-Caribbean, African-Canadian descent)
East Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese descent)
Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit descent)
Latino/Latina/Latinx (Latin American, Hispanic descent)
Middle Eastern (Arab, Persian, West Asian descent, e.g. Afghan, Egyptian, Iranian, Lebanese, Turkish, Kurdish, etc.)
South Asian (South Asian descent, e.g. East Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Indo-Caribbean, etc.)
Southeast Asian (Filipino, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Indonesian, other Southeast Asian descent)
White (European descent)
A racial group(s) not listed above. (please specify):

Thinking about your child’s experience while at school, please indicate how much you agree with each of the following statements:

 

Strongly Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

Not Sure

My child feels accepted by other students.

o

o

o

o

o

My child feels accepted by adults and staff in the school.

o

o

o

o

o

My child feels respected at school.

o

o

o

o

o

My child feels like their identity is welcomed at school.

o

o

o

o

o

My child feels like they are part of the school community.

o

o

o

o

o

My child has the same opportunities for a quality education as other children.

o

o

o

o

o

 


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