Parent/Caregiver School Climate Survey

Parent/Caregiver School Climate Survey
Posted on 02/28/2023

Information Letter for Teachers

Parent/Caregiver School Climate Survey (March 2023)

School climate refers to the learning environment and relationships found within a school and school community. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community feel safe, included, and accepted, and actively promote positive behaviours and interactions. 


All school boards in Ontario are required to conduct school climate surveys at least once every two years to better understand student, parent and staff perceptions about bullying, safety at school, and student engagement. The OCDSB has created a new Parent/Caregiver School Climate Survey to complement the survey that was given to students in Grades 4-12 in April 2022. 

The purpose of the survey is to give parents, guardians and caregivers an opportunity to provide feedback about their family’s and their child’s experiences with the school. Responses will help inform school improvement initiatives and enhance the teaching and learning environment.

All parents, guardians and caregivers (Kindergarten to Grade 12) are invited to complete the survey between March 1st and March 24th, 2023. 

Who is being asked to participate?

Parents, guardians, or caregivers of any OCDSB student in Kindergarten through to Grade 12.

Why are parents/guardians being asked to participate?

The school district is committed to gaining a better understanding of our families and students to help us improve student achievement and well-being. Parents, guardians and caregivers will be able to share their ideas, thoughts or concerns about their child’s school; their input will help make sure that their child’s school is safe, inclusive, and welcoming. Schools will also use the information gathered from these surveys to develop their annual Bullying Prevention and Intervention and School Improvement Plans. This survey also fulfills the Ministry of Education requirement (PPM No.145) that all schools conduct a school climate survey for students, staff, and parents every two years. 

What types of questions are asked on the survey?

The surveys cover a wide range of topics important to our students and families including:

  • Engagement (sense of belonging and social connectedness, student relationships with adults at school, parent-teacher relationships, intellectual engagement, extracurricular activities, support outside of school, and parent engagement and involvement);
  • Environment (school environment, school discipline, instructional environment, representation, identity and diversity, and communication);
  • Safety (feeling safe at school, bullying, sexual harassment (7 to 12 only), stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination);
  • Well-Being (general well-being and social and emotional skills).

The survey also includes questions about student and parent/caregiver race, gender identity, indigenous identity, disability, religion and 2SLGBTQ+ identity. 

How long will it take?

The survey includes 110 questions plus some questions related to demographic information or identity of parents/caregivers and students. Questions are very short - either multiple choice, or agree/disagree, with one open-ended question. The survey should take approximately 15 to 25 minutes to complete for each child. 


How will the survey be completed?

The survey is administered using Qualtrics, a secure online survey platform that is accessible on any mobile device, tablet, laptop or computer. Paper copies (PDFs) are available on the OCDSB school climate webpage. They can be printed from the webpage, completed at home, and returned to the school. 


Is the survey available in multiple languages?

The survey is available in 12 languages (English, Arabic, French, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Urdu, Somali, Russian, Spanish, Pashto, Turkish and Inuktitut).

Is participation mandatory?

Participation is completely voluntary. Parents/caregivers can choose whether they want to complete the survey, and can skip any questions they do not want to answer. 

Is the survey anonymous?

Yes. Identifying information (e.g., parent or student name, unique student identification number) will NOT be collected. 

What if parents/caregivers have more than one child in the OCDSB?

We ask that parents complete the survey with one child/school in mind. However, parents are more than welcome to complete one survey for each child in the OCDSB. If they wish to do so, they may re-visit the survey link and complete the survey again for each additional child. 

When do surveys need to be completed?

The survey will be available between March 1st and March 24th, 2023. 

What do I need to do?

You are not required to do anything. You are being informed about the survey so you are aware that parents, guardians and caregivers are being asked to share their thoughts and experiences. 

What if I have questions?

Contact your principal or school coordinator for further information. For other inquiries, please contact Katherine Magner (Research Officer - Research, Evaluation, and Analytics Division) at [email protected] or direct parents to [email protected]

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