WCDSB MDI Notice of Collection (2024) – Family Letter.docx (sharepoint.com)

Dear Parents,

Before the March Break, the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) will be conducting school climate surveys to collect information from students and families. While the Ministry of Education requires all school districts to conduct these surveys (Education Act s.169.1(1)(a), (a.1), (a.2) and PPM 145), we are committed to providing a safe, caring, and inclusive place for everyone in our schools. The purpose of the school climate surveys is to assess the perceptions of safety (e.g., from students, and families), make informed planning decisions about programs to help prevent bullying and promote safe and inclusive schools, determine the effectiveness of programs on an ongoing basis, and build and sustain a positive school climate. Below you will find details related to each survey.

For Families: We will administer a school climate survey for Families between February 15th and March 8th. You will be provided with the link to participate on February 15th.

For Students: We will invite students in grades 4 through grade 12 to participate in the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) between February 15th and March 8th. The MDI is an anonymous and voluntary online survey and will take place during class time on a board provided device with their classroom teacher. The MDI survey asks students about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in school and in the community related to five areas of development that are strongly linked to well-being, health, and academic achievement: Physical Health & Well-Being, Connectedness, Social & Emotional Development, School Experiences, and Use of After-School Time. Additionally, students will be asked demographic questions on the survey (e.g., Adults they live with, Number of siblings, Gender, School, Grade, Indigenous identity, Race, First language, and English proficiency) in accordance with the Anti-Racism Act (ARA s.6(5)).

The MDI was developed by researchers at the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the administration of the MDI will be facilitated by the WCDSB Research Department.

Any student may choose not to participate, to stop participating, or to skip a question at any time. Additionally, parents/guardians of students under 18 years of age can ask that their child be exempt from participating in the MDI survey by completing this opt-out form before February 8th, 2024. For more information, please visit our Student School Climate webpage: https://www.wcdsb.ca/school-climate-survey/

Regards,

Sherry MacDonald

Principal