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HWDSB Shares Results of First Student Census, We All Count

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HWDSB Shares Results of First Student Census, We All Count

HWDSB Student census logo 2022, reading We all Count.Hamilton, Ontario – June 20, 2022: Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) has released results from its first student census, a priority project that is key in advancing the Board’s Equity Action Plan.

HWDSB conducted a voluntary and confidential student census in May 2021. We All Count: HWDSB Student Census 2021 asked questions about student identities (race, gender, etc.) to identify and address systemic barriers.

“These results – combined with the 2019 staff census and 2020 employment equity audit  – will help us understand our communities so we can make evidence-informed decisions to support equity, student achievement and well-being,” said Sue Dunlop, Interim Director of Education.

The Board-wide response rate was 48 per cent, with 24,177 students or their families submitting a response.

The Anti-Racism Act, 2017 and Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan require school boards to gather and report this data.

HWDSB approached the census with sensitivity after consulting students, families, staff, and community members. The Board invited students, families and community members to attend Student Census information sessions and held a dedicated information session for community

Starting in 2022-23, HWDSB will begin to consider ways to use the data to understand the make-up of the HWDSB student population, and to produce reports on student achievement, opportunities, and participation in programming.

Results released today show that HWDSB schools are incredibly diverse places, where students speak 152 languages at home, represent many cultures around the world and identify themselves through gender in evolving ways that we want to respect and honour.

Our next steps will be grounded in anti-racism and anti-oppression approaches to data integration, reporting and usage. Staff is currently creating a plan to engage communities in defining this process and to ensure that the data is used with utmost care, to benefit students and address inequities.

HWDSB will publicly report census results and how this data has helped guide HWDSB programs, strategies, policies, practices, resources, and supports.

Some findings highlighted in the infographic attached include:

Race, Ethnicity and Religion:

  • Students described themselves as having a racial background that is White (62%), South Asian (10%), Middle Eastern (10%), Black (8%), and less frequent selections.
  • Students’ first languages learned were English (88%), Arabic (6%), Urdu (3%), French (2%), Punjabi (2%), and less frequent selections.
  • Students said their religion or spiritual affiliation is Christian (28%), No religious or spiritual affiliation (21%), Muslim (21%), Atheist (10%), and less frequent selections.

Gender and Sexuality:

  • Students identified as Boy/Man (48%), Girl/Woman (47%), Non-Binary (2%), Questioning (2%), Gender Fluid (1%), and less frequent selections including Agender, Bigender, Boyflux, Demiboy, Demigirl and more.
  • Asked if they are transgender, 3% of student respondents said Yes, 4% said Not Sure, and 94% said No.
  • Students in grades 5-12 were asked about their sexual orientation, and said they were Heterosexual (68%), Questioning (13%), Bisexual (8%), Asexual (5%), Pansexual (4%) and less frequent selections.

Persons with Disabilities:

  • In responses, 11% of students said they were a person with a disability.
  • The most frequent types of disability were Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (5%), Mental health disabilities (4%), Learning (3%), Attention Deficit Disorder (2%) and other responses.

Birthplace & Citizenship:

  • Asked if they were born in Canada, 84% of students said Yes, 15% said No, and less than 1% were Not Sure.
  • Asked their citizenship status, students said they were Canadian Citizens (87%), Landed Immigrants/Permanent Residents (5%), Not Sure (5%), Indigenous (1%), International Students (1%) and less frequent selections.

Please learn more in the attached infographic and on our website www.hwdsb.on.ca/weallcount, where you will find background including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the census.

If you have questions about the census, please contact census@hwdsb.on.ca

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Media Contact:

Shawn McKillop, APR
Manager, Communications and Community Engagement
905.515.6227 | smckillo@hwdsb.on.ca



Updated on Monday, July 18, 2022.
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