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Pilot Project Findings

Know Me - Voluntary Student Self-Identification Data Collection Pilot

The mission of the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board (WECDSB) is to know, inspire, and empower each student. In keeping with these objectives, and in meeting the responsibility to protect and uphold human rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code while meeting its obligation under the Data Standards for the Identification and Monitoring of Systemic Racism, WECDSB established a pilot project in the 2021-2022 school year to learn, understand and refine the process of newly introduced data collection requirements prior to system-wide implementation

The pilot data collection involved students from Grade 9 - Grade 12 at Assumption College Catholic High School and Catholic Central High School. Total population of both schools participating in the survey was 1,181 students. The school community was provided information pertaining to the Know Me voluntary student self-identification data collection beginning in the 2020-2021 school year and the survey was open to students from November 22 - December 3, 2021. Students were asked questions pertaining to ten domains:  ethnicity, first language spoken, Indigenous identity, race, religion and spiritual affiliation, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, status in Canada and socio-economic status.

The WECDSB received a 58% student response rate for the pilot survey.  The data collected from this pilot will drive implementation of the board wide survey, anticipated in fall of 2022.

What we learned and steps moving forward:
  • More communication is needed as to why census information is important and how it will be used to inform practice and change.
  • Student voice is important: students want to be part of the process.
  • More choices and the ability to choose more than one language, ethnicity and race.
  • More options for capturing unique and diverse living/home dynamics.
  • Provide alternatives, services and supports for translation needs.
  • The importance of an identifier for confidentiality, not only for electronic but paper copies of the survey.
  • Additional questions pertaining to mental health and well-being are requested by respondents.
  • Communication with parents is important, including a longer time period to complete the survey and more reminders regarding survey participation.

Thank you to members of the Special Education Advisory Committee, Indigenous Education Advisory Committee, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, Parent Involvement Committee, Student Senate and community partners for their valuable input throughout the pilot process.
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