Public Consultations

YRDSB engages in effective and meaningful community consultations -- a pillar of the Director’s Action Plan. The Board’s public consultation goals are to provide a platform to hear and collect community voices, build trusting and respectful relationships, and develop strong partnerships with the community for a shared vision for equitable education.  

Information related to current and past public consultations is available below. Continue to visit this public consultation page to find out where, when, and how you can share your voice with the YRDSB.

 


Current and Upcoming Public Consultations

Have your say because your voice matters!


Stay tuned for a list of active or upcoming public consultations.

 

Learning in 2020-2021
In January 2021 , YRDSB invited students and families to participate in online consultations to better understand student and family experiences with the different learning models (virtual and face-to-face) during the 2020-2021 school year. 

View the results of the Learning in 2020-2021 consultation (PDF).

An accessible version is available.

Frequently Asked Questions

My first language is not English. Can I get help to complete the online consultation?
ThoughtExchange uses Google Translate to provide you with all of the thoughts and the question in your language of choice. If you would like to participate in another language other than English, you can do so by clicking ‘Change language’ from the drop-down menu on the Introduction page for your exchange. You can participate in any Google Translate supported language. 

Is ThoughtExchange accessible for blind or low vision participants?
ThoughtExchange has accessibility options available for blind or low vision participants. These can be enabled by pressing Ctrl-Shift-E (all at once) and this will also be provided as an audible cue for participants with screen readers enabled. 

What is ThoughtExchange and how does it work?
ThoughtExchange is a tool used to gather input from communities through meaningful and productive online conversations.

There are three steps to follow:

  1. SHARE – where everyone shares their thoughts.
  2. STAR – where everyone sees each other’s thoughts and assigns stars (from 1-5) depending on how strongly you agree or disagree with the idea.
  3. DISCOVER – where everyone’s thoughts and stars are shared publicly and sorted by the average star rating.

In response to each question, we recommend you share your thoughts, then star-rate about 20-30 thoughts (or as many more as you like). You will then have an opportunity to discover the top thoughts that are important to everyone in the YRDSB community. 

What kinds of questions will I be asked?
You will be asked one open-ended question where you can provide as many responses as you like. 

Who will see my responses?
Your responses (i.e., your ‘thoughts’) will be shared, exactly as you have submitted them, with others participating in the exchange. ThoughtExchange keeps confidential who shared each thought and who assigned what ratings.  

How many “thoughts” can I share?
You can share as many thoughts as you would like – there is no limit. Please organize and separate your thoughts so that each thought is about a specific idea. Keep each thought focused on one point. This will make it easier for others to decide how many stars to assign that thought. Each thought is limited to 300 characters. 

Can I suggest alternative ideas through ThoughtExchange?
Yes, as long as they are related to the topics of discussion. ThoughtExchange poses open-ended questions so that participants have the freedom to share all of their thoughts related to the topics.

Can I delete thoughts I have shared? 
Yes. You can delete thoughts you have shared by going back to the Share step and clicking the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the thought bubble and choosing the "Delete" option.

I’ve shared my thoughts. What happens next?
Once you’ve shared your thoughts, you can see the thoughts of others and add stars to thoughts that you like the best. This helps to identify the things that are the most important to participants. It also helps us make sure that decisions are well-balanced and informed. 

How many stars can I assign?
For each thought you review, you can assign between one and five stars. You can assign stars to as many thoughts as you would like. Thoughts will appear one-by-one and the ThoughtExchange algorithm ensures that each thought can be rated.

What happens in the STAR step?
In this step you will read the thoughts of others and assign stars to the thoughts you agree with.  This will help us get a sense of shared values and priorities. Thoughts are completely unedited; the thoughts you see in the STAR step are presented exactly as they were submitted - typos and all.

How do I assign stars?
Use the stars to identify the thoughts most important to you. You may assign up to five stars to any thought, based on how much you agree with it. The more stars you assign to a thought, the more important it is to you. Click the stars at the bottom of the thought to assign them‎. 

Whose thoughts am I seeing?
In the STAR step, you’ll be given the opportunity to read a selection of submitted thoughts. It is best to rate 30 thoughts, but you can rate more or less.

Why can’t I see all of the thoughts I shared?
Generally, most of the thoughts you shared will appear in your selection of thoughts in the STAR step, provided you view enough thoughts overall. However, if you added a lot of thoughts, you might not see all of them. Also, ThoughtExchange  reviews every thought that is added and removes any thoughts that are rude or hurtful to a person or a group of people, contains identifying information, or does not answer the question.  

Do I see all of the thoughts that were submitted in the SHARE phase?
To keep the STAR phase manageable, you will see a random selection of thoughts in addition to some of your own. ThoughtExchange uses an algorithm to ensure that each thought is seen with the same frequency as every other thought, so each voice has an equal chance of being heard. 

What if I see a thought that I think is rude or hurtful?
You can flag a thought for review by clicking the Options icon (3 dots) for that thought and then clicking on “Report”. A facilitator will be notified to review the flagged thought. 

How often can I participate?
As often as you want – in fact, the more the better!  By revisiting the exchange, you will get to see and rate new thoughts that are being shared. Those thoughts might even spark new thoughts for you to add.

I received multiple invitations. Can I participate more than once?
You may receive multiple invitations if you belong to more than one group: parents/guardians, staff, or community partner.  You may respond separately to each invitation to express your thoughts as a member of that group.

Will people know what responses were mine?
No, your responses are displayed confidentially. You do not need an account to participate. Your thoughts will be shared, exactly as you submit them, with other participants during the STAR step. If you choose to sign up for a ThoughtExchange account, your name and/or email address will never be connected to your specific thoughts or displayed. You do not need an account to participate. Please be careful not to include any information in your thoughts that you do not want shared.

How do I know my privacy is protected?
YRDSB is committed to protecting your privacy in accordance with our legislated duty under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. If you have questions about privacy, please visit our Privacy and Information site at Privacy and Information.

Will my answers be filtered?
All responses will be reviewed and thoughts will be removed if they are rude or hurtful to a person or a group of people, if they identify a child, if they identify an individual negatively, or if they do not answer the question.

Why was I asked to share my name?
The ThoughtExchange platform may present an option at the end of the survey process for participants to provide their name. This is an optional step and is offered so that ThoughtExchange can provide a “friendlier” greeting to participants whenever they log in to their process. Whether or not you choose to enter your name, responses are never publicly tied to specific email addresses or names.

Will you be sharing my email address?
No, emails collected during the consultation process will only be used to facilitate this ThoughtExchange. They will not be shared or sold to another third-party.

Are my answers about the school or the district?
All feedback will be considered at the district level and will inform improvements to be made as we continue to learn at home.  Your answers should be based on your experience and you may include examples where relevant.

No, they are completely voluntary but we hope students and their families will participate to make their voices heard.

If you still have questions, please contact research.services@yrdsb.ca

 


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