Peterborough public school board conducting first-ever student census

The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board will be conducting a census next year to better understand the needs of its students and school communities.

The first-ever Every Student Matters Census will be conducted in February and March. The school board says the confidential and voluntary census will consist of 25 questions focusing on well-being, family structure, gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, race, languages, nationality, disability and socio-economics.

“School boards across the province are completing a census with their school communities in order to gather demographic information to support well-informed decision-making,” stated Diane Lloyd, board chairperson. “Several school boards have already completed their first census, while we are completing ours this school year.”

Parents of junior kindergarten to Grade 6 students will be asked to complete the survey online; students in Grades 7-12 will be asked to complete the survey in class, the board states.

The board says the census information will be used to:

  • Address any barriers to student achievement and success
  • Establish effective programs
  • Allocate resources according to student needs

“We want to assure our school communities that this survey is voluntary,” stated Lloyd. “However, we would also like to encourage people to complete the census to provide more complete information about school communities, allowing us to identify and address barriers and establish effective programs.”

The board says data will be collected in a secure manner in accordance with applicable legislation and best practices and the information will be stored on internal school board servers and will only be accessed by a “small number” of staff to analyze the data.

“Reports will never single out or identify a student or family, and will only be reported in a summarized way, to provide understanding of school communities’ needs,” the board stated.

The board will be holding several community information sessions to discuss the census project. The sessions — all running from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — include:

  • Peterborough area: Prince of Wales Public School in Peterborough, Nov. 21 and Lakefield District Public School, Dec. 6
  • Northumberland: Cobourg Collegiate Institute, Dec. 6 and Campbellford District High, Dec. 12
  • Clarington area: Courtice Secondary School, Nov. 15 and Newcastle Public School, Dec. 5

For more information, visit the census webpage.

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