Outraged parents in Nova Scotia, Canada are expressing their discontent with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Student Success Survey, which includes questions on gender identity, sexuality, and LGBTQ+ experiences in school. The survey, scheduled to be conducted between April 17 to May 5, 2023, aims to gather information to support inclusive and equitable education practices. However, some parents are expressing outrage at these questions being asked of children. Parents who have concerns about the survey and their child’s participation are advised to contact their school principal for more information.
Below is a copy of the letter and survey sent out by Paula Evans (she/her), Director of Leadership, Student Achievement, and Well-Being at the Centre for Equity in Achievement and Well-Being, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
We will let you make your own judgments if you think this should be something a school child should be subject to…
This is the letter that was emailed out directly from Paula Evans (she/her) Director, Leadership, Student Achievement and Well-Being. Centre for Equity in Achievement and Well-Being. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. PO Box 578, 2021 Brunswick St, Halifax, NS, B3J 2S9
Student Success Survey 2023 Parental Privacy Notice
Introduction to Student Success Survey 2023
Dear parents and guardians of students in Grades 4 to 12,
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (the Department) is inviting students to take part in completing the Student Success Survey, which was last completed in 2022. The survey asks children in Grade 4 to 12 about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in school. The survey will be administered between April 17 to May 5, 2023.
Statistical reports from the survey will be shared with the Regional Centres for Education, Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) and schools. Some Regions or CSAP may also be given access to the survey responses for their Region/CSAP if they request it, to complete their own analysis.
AT A GLANCE
The survey will take place at school in an online format. Students will be asked demographic questions and questions about their experiences, relationships with others and how they feel at school.
It will be supervised by school staff and will take students approximately 40-50 minutes to complete.
What is the Student Success Survey?
The Student Success Survey is a provincial survey of students in all public schools in the Province of Nova Scotia from grades 4 to 12. The survey asks students demographic questions and asks about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in school. The survey does not ask for students’ names and is not intended to identify individual students.
What is the purpose of survey?
The purpose of the survey is to make general information about students’ academic experiences and well-being at school available to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (the Department), the Regional Centres for Education (Regions) and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) to support student success planning in schools.
Why is the survey needed?
The Department and the Regions/CSAP need to hear the opinions of students to be able to improve planning, set targets for improvement, and measure the effectiveness of different approaches and supports. This survey will result in a province-wide view of student experiences and well-being. It will also help the Department and Regions/CSAP to better understand the experiences of students in particular populations within Nova Scotia at the provincial level and at the Region/CSAP level.
What is the authority for the Department and the Regions/CSAP to collect information about my child?
The Department and the Regions/CSAP are authorized to collect personal information about students by the Education Act (sections 93 and 94), the Education (CSAP) Act (section 141) and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (section 24).
Participation in the survey is voluntary.
- The survey is voluntary. There are no physical risks to completing the survey, and your child may skip questions they do not wish to answer
- Participating or not participating in the survey will not affect your child’s grades. It will not affect any services that your family receives from the school or the Region/CSAP.
- If you have any questions regarding the survey and your child’s participation, please contact the school directly.
What will happen?
- Before the survey begins, your child’s teacher or school staff will explain to the students that they will be asked questions about their feelings and experiences at school, that the survey is not a test – there are no right or wrong answers.
- The online survey will be administered and analyzed by Narrative Research a survey company, on behalf of the Department. Narrative is required by contract to keep all survey responses private and confidential and to protect the survey responses securely during the analysis.
How is my child’s privacy protected?
- Your child’s responses to the survey questions are private and confidential. Individual responses to the survey will not be shared with the students’ principal, teachers, parents/guardians, or other students. No information will be added to your child’s student record from the survey responses.
- Student names will not be collected by the survey. However, it is possible that there will be a small number of responses to some of the demographic questions, which could result in a student being identified. When this occurs, the responses will be grouped into larger numbers or not reported to the student’s school to protect the privacy of the student.
How will the survey responses be used and stored?
- Access to the individual survey responses will be restricted to Department and Region/CSAP staff who need access to the data to do the analysis as part of their job duties.
- The survey responses will be stored in a secure manner to prevent unauthorized access.
- The Department and the Regions/CSAP will define the roles and responsibilities of each party to protect the data, how access to the data is restricted, who is allowed to have access, and that they must use it only for the allowed purposes.
- The Department and the Regions/CSAP will use the survey responses only for the approved planning and evaluation purposes as defined.
- Provincial or Region/CSAP level reports may be made available on the Department’s website or the Regions/CSAP websites.
Contact for questions:
- Please contact your school principal if you have questions.
Below is a copy of the Survey questions in downloadable format