KCDSB census sees high student participation

KCDSB census sees high student participation
Posted on 12/01/2021
This is the image for the news article titled KCDSB census sees high student participation A student opens up the questions for the Grade 7-12 student census.

Census Week at Kenora Catholic wrapped up on Friday with a high rate of students in Grades 7-12 participating. Just under 80% of students completed the census.

“Our students were so respectful and attentive as they completed the census. I believe that they value and truly want inclusivity and equity for each other and know that the census is one way for us to achieve that,” said Mariette Martineau, Religious and Family Life Coordinator and Equity Lead.

The census launched on Monday, November 22. Families with students in Kindergarten to Grade 6 were sent emails with links to complete the survey on their child’s behalf. Students in Grades 7-12 completed the census in class on Wednesday, November 24 under educator supervision.

Of the 611 students in Grades 7-12, 482 or 78.9% filled out the survey. For students in Kindergarten to Grade 6, 47.3% of families completed the census on their behalf.

“We’re very happy with the response rate we had from both students and families for our Count Me In KCDSB Student Census,” said Paul White, Director of Education at the KCDSB. “The data we collected will help us determine the diverse make up of our student population. We can then use this data when looking at the bigger picture to determine if any barriers exist and who those barriers are affecting.”

The census was voluntary and confidential and collected identity-based data. The questions on the census asked about a student’s languages, Indigenous identity, ethnicity, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, (dis)abilities, place of birth and citizenship/immigration status and varied by Grade.

“At the Kenora Catholic District School Board, we are committed to ensuring that every child has equity in their access to education and by that, I mean that each child is getting what they need to be successful,” said Martineau. “The data itself won’t point out any barriers, but when we use it in context with our programming, curriculum, etc. that’s when we can see any gaps or issues our students may be facing.”

The student census was recently mandated in Ontario by the Ministry of Education. Under the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 and Ontario's Education Equity Action Plan, school boards must collect data using a student census and report on the results.

While the census itself may be over, the journey towards equity continues with the newly formed KCDSB Equity Committee which is looking forward to seeing the results of the survey.
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