Students across the province will be asked to participate in a census to identify and eliminate discrimination and bias from schools and classrooms. The Limestone District School Board (LDSB) will have the See Yourself in Limestone Student Census available the week of November 23, 2020.
LSDB says the data collected through the census will help them learn more about Limestone students – their backgrounds, experiences and needs.
“Getting to know our students better will allow us to remove barriers and address gaps to help them succeed,” says Superintendent of Education Michele Babcock. “This identity-based data will help us help students reach their full potential while supporting their learning, emotional, mental and physical needs. Ideally, this work will help us to ensure every student sees themselves in Limestone.”
Families can preview the census on the Board website along with other resources and frequently asked questions. There are three versions of the census: one for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students, which will be completed by families at home, a census for students in Grades 4 to 6 and a census for students in Grades 7 to 12. Students in Grades 4 to 12 will complete the survey during class time.
According to a release from LDSB dated Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, staff conducted field tests of the survey with a variety of elementary and secondary grades in October. A few tweaks were made to the process and educator and family resource guides to better support students. The board says the survey will take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete depending on students’ literacy levels.
Having students complete the survey during class time with teachers guiding students through the questions was helpful for students, according to the release. The board says students will also benefit from exposure to the survey questions and language ahead of doing the survey, especially questions around ethnicity, race and culture. Staff have been provided with various resources such as mentor texts to support them in helping students to prepare for the language and concepts of the survey.
Families with students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 will receive (via snail mail) a letter and resource package to help them complete the survey with their student, according to the release. The survey is confidential and completely voluntary; however, the data will only be useful with healthy participation rates. A family can request that their student not participate by letting their school administration or classroom teacher know. A student can also refuse to participate.
Once the survey is completed, staff will analyze the data and report high-level findings in the spring of 2021.
“Understanding student identity, lived experience, and ability continue to be important in our efforts to improve student achievement and well-being,” says Superintendent Babcock. “The Limestone District School Board has a strong commitment to improving equity of access and opportunity for all students so every student can see themselves in Limestone.”
Learn more on the Board website.