What is the DPCDSB Student Census?
The DPCDSB Student Census is an online survey that collects information about student social identities associated with the protected grounds of the Ontario Human Rights Code (e.g., first languages, Indigeneity, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, orientation, disability, status in Canada). The DPCDSB Student Census also asks about students’ lived experiences at school, such as sense of belonging, intellectual engagement and motivation to learn, positive reflection of their identities at school, participation, experience of exclusion and emotional state.
DPCDSB Student Census Quick Reference Guide
DPCDSB Student Census Video
Why are we collecting this information?
DPCDSB is collecting this information to identify and address disproportionality and disparity in student experiences and outcomes.
Disproportionality: Over- or under-representation of a group compared to its proportion of a population.
Disparity: Disproportionate representation of a group compared to another group in terms of an outcome.
Disproportionality and disparity are indicators of systemic racism and discrimination. Working to eliminate systemic racism and discrimination reflects the Catholic social teachings of human dignity, solidarity, living in community, and rights and responsibilities.
Where did DPCDSB get permission to collect this information?
As publicly funded provincial institutions, all school districts in Ontario are required to collect and report publicly, by January 2023, identity-based data to identify and address systemic racism and discrimination in student experiences and outcomes. This data collection is authorized by Ontario law as listed in the notice below.
Notice of Collection: Personal information is collected under the legal authority of the Education Act, RSO 1990, c. E-2, as amended and Bill 114, Anti-Racism Act, 2017, to be used to eliminate systemic racism and advance racial equity. Pursuant to Section 29 of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, RSO 1990, c. M-56, personal information collected is used for the purposes stated above. Questions with respect to the collection and use of personal information should be directed to Ertha D’Anna, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of the Equity, Policy, Strategy, Research Department – Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, 40 Matheson Blvd West, Mississauga, L5R 1C6. Phone: 905-890-0708 x 24631.
How are we collecting this information?
The DPCDSB Student Census is voluntary and confidential, but the DPCDSB Student Census is not anonymous. Each student’s DPCDSB student number will be used to match their responses with achievement, attendance, discipline, and programming information, to identify disparity and disproportionality system wide.
Students in Grades 4 through 12 will complete the DPCDSB Student Census online during class, with staff available to support. Students will access the census via a personal link sent to their DPCDSB student email account.
Parents and guardians of students in Kindergarten through Grade 3, and of older students whose needs and abilities require parent/guardian completion of the census on their behalf, will be asked to complete the online DPCDSB Student Census. Parents/guardians will also access the online link to the census via their children’s DPCDSB email account.
Parents and guardians will be sent, via email, an information letter about the DPCDSB Student Census.
This letter is also available below in English, as well as in several languages* commonly spoken by members of the DPCDSB community.
PUNJABI - GURMUKHI
What questions are on the DPCDSB Student Census?
The DPCDSB Student Census asks questions about student social identity, as well as items about student lived experience at school. Data standards indicating what and how identity questions must be asked have been developed under the Anti-Racism Act, 2017. The required identity items on the DPCDSB Student Census, as well as additional attitudinal items, are listed below:
Required Identity Items
- Language(s) first spoken
- Indigenous language(s) first spoken
- Indigenous identity
- Religious affiliation
- Gender identity
- Sexual orientation 
- Birth in Canada
- Status in Canada
- Time in Canada
- Socio-economic status 
Additional Attitudinal Items
- Peer inclusion
- School inclusion
- Participation in school activities
- Representation of Indigenous and equity-seeking groups at school
- Positive reflection of identity at school
- Exclusion at school
- Emotional state
 Implementation of this item is consistent with content and timing in The Ontario Curriculum, Health and Physical Education (August 2019).
 Students will not be asked any socio-economic status questions as DPCDSB shall use a social risk or vulnerability index that provides proxy socio-economic information based on student home postal code.
While responses to all the items are important, students may skip any items they do not wish to answer.
You can have a look at the DPCDSB Student Census items in the files below.
DPCDSB 2021-22 Student Census - Kindergarten-Grade 3
DPCDSB 2021-22 Student Census - Grades 4-12
Translations for Kindergarten-Grade 3 Student Census:
Translations for Grade 4-12 Student Census:
How will my child’s information be protected?
All DPCDSB Student Census data will be stored in a secure, password protected DPCDSB computer network folder. This secure network folder will be accessible only by DPCDSB research staff and essential staff in DPCDSB’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) department who take care of DPCDSB’s computer network.
The DPCDSB Student Census responses will not be entered into the DPCDSB student information system, and these answers will not be added to any students’ Ontario Student Record (OSR). School staff members, superintendents, senior DPCDSB staff, and trustees will not be able to see individual student answers to the DPCDSB Student Census questions.
DPCDSB research staff will use each student’s student number to link their DPCDSB Student Census responses to their achievement, attendance, discipline, and programming information. Once all of these pieces of information are linked, DPCDSB research staff will delete the student number and student names from the dataset to make the data “anonymized”, or anonymous. All analyses of the information will only use the anonymized data, and all public reporting of the DPCDSB Student Census information will be limited to group-level findings (e.g., system, school, municipal, and/or social identity groups). No individual student data will be accessible by school staff and no individual student data will be reported publicly.
Does my child have to participate in the DPCDSB Student Census?
Participation in the DPCDSB Student Census is voluntary. School staff will tell students about the purpose of the census and students will have a chance to decide whether they wish to participate. Even if they decide to participate, they can skip any questions they do not wish to answer, or they may choose to stop participating at any time. If they do not participate, they will work on regular schoolwork while the class does the census.
Parents and guardians who are completing the census for younger students or for students with special needs may also choose whether they participate. The choice to participate or not participate will not affect your child’s marks or treatment in their classroom or school, and it will not affect any services that your family receives from the school or from DPCDSB.
If you DO NOT wish your child in Grade 4 or older to participate, please click this link and enter their full name, school, and student number by Monday, November 15, 2021.