RCCDSB Believes in Me Student Demographic Census will take place this November 2022. Check back here for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the purpose of RCCDSB Believes in Me student demographic census?
This information will be used to ensure we are addressing any possible barriers to students’ education at RCCDSB. Many of the questions on the census are mandated by the Ministry of Education. This is presumed to be the first of multiple student demographic censuses over the next several years to help students achieve their highest educational potential.
Why is identity-based data being collected?
As a result of the Ontario Anti-Racism Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c.15 and Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, School Boards received a mandate to collect and report on identity-based data (ethnic origin, race, Indigenous identity, and religion). The purpose of this collection of data is to identify and eliminate any discriminatory practices and barriers faced by students in our schools. The RCCDSB is committed to offering and sustaining safe school environments characterized by warmth, hospitality, good humour, and joy. We want to ensure that all students feel welcome and address any barriers that students face.
Once the census is complete, we will be reviewing the data collected and determining what barriers students are facing in our schools. This falls in line with our vision as we strive to recognize and remove barriers to create just and equal opportunities for all. Once we have critical information, the RCCDSB can begin working on action plans to eliminate discrimination and barriers to student success. This is one of the many steps our Board is taking to ensure safe school environments. We are continuously working to ensure all students feel safe and welcome at the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board.
Why should my child participate in this census?
The collection of this information is critical to understanding our student population. If we do not know who makes up our community, it is more difficult to address, monitor and eliminate inequalities in our schools. We know that systemic racism is prevalent in Ontario, and we know this is important to address. We want to ensure that all students are treated equally and eliminate discrimination in our schools. That is why we are encouraging all students to participate. We want to know how you feel in school and what we can work on. By participating in the census, you can help us create equal and just opportunities for all RCCDSB students.
What questions are on the census?
The questions on the census will include topics such as student identity, school climate, family characteristics, and student well-being. There will be two versions of the census: one for K-8 and another for grades 9-12. This is because we want to ensure we follow the curriculum and only ask questions that students would have discussed in class.
Do parents/guardians/students need to answer every question on the census?
No, you will not need to answer all of the questions. If there are questions you’d prefer not to answer, simply leave them blank and continue to the next question.
Is it mandatory to complete the demographic student census?
It is not mandatory to complete this census, however, the more responses we receive the better we can evaluate any potential barriers to students and address and monitor them to ensure we provide students with the support they need.
When will students be completing the Student Census?
The Demographic Student census will be launched in the Fall of 2022. We hope to provide access to computers/reliable internet at Parent-Teacher conferences for parents who are completing the census for students in K-6 and do not have reliable internet access at home. Students in grades 7-12 will have a chance to complete the census in class in November 2022. Prior to the official launch of the census, we will send notice to parents to make them aware which week will be dedicated to the census.
What if a student is absent during census week?
If a student is absent during the week dedicated to completing the census, their teacher will hold onto their census and allow them time to complete it once they return to class.
How were the questions on the census developed?
While many questions are mandated by the Government of Ontario and the Ministry of Education, there may be additional questions related to how your child feels at school, if they feel represented in their learning, as well as socioeconomic-related questions. The additional perceptual questions were decided by our Demographic Student Census Steering committee. The committee includes various different department leads, including mental health, Indigenous education, religious education, and other experienced personnel to help determine the questions that we include. After many discussions, we decided upon the perceptual questions that we believe will assist us the best when trying to identify discrimination and inequalities in our School Board.