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School board focus on diversity in ‘This is Me in HPE’ student census

This month, all students of Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) will have the opportunity to participate in a first-ever, district-wide census.

“The communities we serve are growing more diverse. We value this diversity because it contributes to the ideas and perspectives that enrich school communities,” said said Katherine MacIver, Director of Education. “To support our efforts, we must learn more about our students, so we are able to identify opportunities to help everyone succeed.”

The This is Me in HPE Student Census will collect identity-based information to help the school board learn about its students and create equitable, inclusive schools.

“As a school board, it is important to truly know our learners in order to ensure everyone is able to succeed and flourish. HPEDSB is dedicated to removing systemic barriers and practices which may impede success for some students. Using the data gathered from the student census, we will understand the diversity of our student population to help them feel supported, a strong sense of belonging, and be able to experience equitable opportunities,” said MacIver.

Data from the student census will assist with planning by helping the school board:
– be aware of and support the diversity of our students and families;
– better understand the needs of our students and families;
– enhance access to services and eliminate barriers for our students and families;
– reduce disadvantages faced by some of our students and families;
– allocate resource, enhance programs and service delivery; and
– improve learning opportunities for all students.

The census will be conducted from Nov. 15-19, 2021. Participation is voluntary and will take about 20 minutes. It is confidential but not anonymous. That means individual responses, and all personal student and family information, will be linked to students.

“This will enable us to better understand the diversity within the HPEDSB student population and work to ensure equity for students of different backgrounds. Student responses, data reports and analyses will never single out a student or family,” said MacIver. “Individual responses will remain confidential and protected under freedom of information and protection of privacy legislation.”

For students in JK to Grade 4: the census will be completed at home with/by their parents/guardians.
For students in Grade 5 to 12: the census will be completed during class time.

On Nov. 15, 2021, families of students in JK to Grade 4 will receive a communication from their child(ren)’s teacher(s) with a link to the online census. Students in Grades 5 to 12 will receive an email to their school Google Apps account with a link to the online census. A paper copy and/or other accommodations are available upon request by contacting the school.

Families who do not want their child(ren) to participate, may opt out by contacting the principal by Wednesday, Nov. 10.

More information about the This is Me in HPE Student Census, including an information slideshow, sample census questions and FAQs, is available online at www.HPEschools.ca/census

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