Although there will be a delay in the implementation of the survey, it is the Board's intention to survey all students registered in its schools in order to gather specific demographic information on its student population. The draft surveys that students were to begin completing on Monday November 22 are still available for viewing on the OCDSB website, as is information on the Board's rationale for conducting the survey, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions.  The OCDSB has stated that once the IPC investigation is complete, new survey dates will be announced. OPEN therefore strongly encourages parents and community members to review the survey documents at the above OCDSB weblink, and to contact the OCDSB if they have any questions or concerns regarding the nature of the questions asked on the survey, survey confidentiality, or the manner in which survey data will be used.  Board staff handling the survey can be reached at: 613-596-8258 or inclusivetimes@ocdsb.ca

Parents should bear in mind that while the Board has taken steps to preserve student confidentiality, the survey in its present form is not anonymous. A student's name or student number will not be recorded on their survey, but each survey will be assigned a unique number which will be linked to the student respondent. This unique number will enable the Board staff who analyze the survey data to link an individual student's survey responses to other school data about that student, including his or her EQAO testing results or other student assessments.

Some questions regarding the OCDSB Student Survey, which have been brought to OPEN's attention, and which have not been addressed in public information provided by the OCDSB:

  • Are the survey responses linked to individual students with the intention of enabling data linkage with academic outcomes, student disciplinary records,  and other administrative data?  
  • Does the Board have a rationale document that clearly specifies within an analytical framework why each question is being asked, and can this document be made public?
  • Has the survey been tested through pilots / focus-groups?  
  • Has the survey been reviewed by other agencies with expertise in such data collection tools?
  • What is the minimum stated survey quality that needs to be achieved in order to make each data item useful for its intended purpose, and how does the survey methodology ensure that this level of quality will be attained?