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Grand Erie Delves into Student Census Data to Address Factors Affecting School Experiences

Grand Erie District School Board has completed important next steps in the analysis of data collected from its first student census.

“The census initiative follows Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, the province’s strategy for identifying and eliminating discriminatory practices, barriers, and biases from schools and classrooms, and is a crucial step to ensuring equity and addressing the factors affecting it,” said Christine Bibby, Grand Erie’s Safe and Inclusive Schools Lead, who spearheaded the initiative along with the Safe and Inclusive Schools team. “Our goal is to create learning environments that allow every student to reach their full potential, and with this information, we’re in a better position to achieve that.”

The findings from the census are being used to remove barriers to inclusion, inform programming, and better understand the factors that contribute to students’ overall experiences of school. The recently completed phase of analysis examined students’ perceptions of their schooling, and how various demographic factors intersect to affect those experiences. Find the full report here: http://bit.ly/38Zpo1f.

“Some of the key findings from the census reveal that socio-economic status is a factor related to students’ experiences of school, and our LGBTQ+ students appear to be having challenges related to their school experiences,” said Greg Rousell, Grand Erie’s System Research Lead, who presented the information to Trustees on Monday at the Regular Board Meeting. “When data reveals something troublesome, we have an ethical and a moral obligation to respond to it.”

Grand Erie’s response includes plans for consultations with community agencies and advocacy groups to address some of the systemic barriers to inclusion, and to share key findings with school principals and administrative staff to inform School Achievement Plans moving forward.

Grand Erie’s student census was completed last March. The voluntary and confidential census received feedback from 83 per cent of Grand Erie students in Grades 4-12. The census asked students about their race, culture, and religion. Students in Grades 9-12 were also asked about their sexual orientation and gender identity. Results from the student census were shared with Trustees at the September 9, 2019 Committee of the Whole Meeting. Find those results here: https://bit.ly/37UebgX.

Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, Success for Every Student, includes a commitment to Equity, promoting practices that help students and families feel safe, welcomed and included.

Grand Erie District School Board represents more than 26,000 students in 58 elementary and 14 secondary schools within the City of Brantford and the Counties of Brant, Haldimand, and Norfolk as well as secondary students from Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

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