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Striving for precision with the inaugural This is Me in HPE census

student census adIn 2021, HPEDSB, along with other Ontario school boards, completed a census of their staff and students. Directed by the Ministry of Education under the Anti-Racism Act, 2017 and Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, school boards were to collect data and report on the data they collected, in order to gain a clearer understanding of the needs of their school communities. The census questions focused on individuals’ gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and other identity-based data, the goals being to identify and address systemic barriers to student success, close gaps in services, and guide decisions that support more equitable outcomes for all students and staff.

Following extensive internal and community stakeholder consultation, HPEDSB conducted a pilot This is Me in HPE student census at four schools in May 2021. Using the lessons learned in the pilot roll-out, the project steering committee refined the census, its delivery and supporting materials throughout the summer.

In the fall, an information sharing campaign prepared staff, students and their families for the upcoming launch of the census with virtual information sessions to address questions and concerns, digital media campaigns, radio interviews and ads, a dedicated census web page, FAQs, infographics, posters, learning supports, and more. The key message shared about the census was:

We are committed to learning together, with our school communities, to ensure our schools are equitable, accessible and inclusive environments—places where all students, staff, families and community members thrive, feel welcomed, appreciated and respected for their unique contributions to the HPEDSB family. 

The inaugural This is Me in HPE census was completed by staff in early November, followed by students in mid-November. The census was available through a secure online portal or could be completed on paper and delivered to a locked drop-box.

The data collected from the census will offer insight into the diversity that exists in HPESB schools in 2021, forming an important baseline against which future data will be compared, so the board can track and respond to shifts in local demographics. Reports based on the census data will be shared in 2022 and will be a key component of championing equity in HPE schools.

Student Census infographic

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Last updated: January 20, 2022 at 4:13 pm
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