ESCS - Approach

The Research and Assessment Services teams have been working closely with the YRDSB community to understand their needs and to co-create themed research reports and evaluation solutions that are inclusive, relevant, actionable and meaningful. 

This series of Every Student Counts Survey (ESCS) themed research reports is the result of comprehensive community engagement through ongoing consultations with community partners on data analysis and reporting of the ESCS data. This includes working closely with members of the Parent and Family Engagement Advisory Committee (PEAC), Equity and Inclusivity Advisory Committee (EIAC), and the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) to develop system-level reports for release starting in August  2021.  

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Every Student Counts Survey
The Every Student Counts Survey is a student census that was conducted in late 2018 in every school across the York Region District School Board. Over 126,000 survey invitations or survey packages were sent.

Ongoing Community Engagement

At the centre of our community engagement strategy is active listening, responding, learning and co-creating reports with community partners. We work to maintain trust by integrating teams to ensure there is a forum which engages community partners in ongoing dialogue regarding research methodologies and reporting. Ongoing communication to the community about the use of the ESCS data is an essential part of our community engagement process. 

Sharing the ESCS process and results through themed reports, infographics, and an open data set for public use increases credibility, usability, and impact. It is important for participants to see how the data is treated, how their feedback is being used, as well as the impact that their engagement has on the future work of the Board.

Although we engaged in a series of comprehensive community consultations in the development of these themed reports, we wholeheartedly believe that there is always room for growth to partner with communities, particularly in co-constructing the ongoing themed reports. In efforts to best collaborate and hear the voices of community members, we welcome any feedback for next steps regarding the current and ongoing reporting structures. If desired, you may contact with your feedback.

Generating evidence to promote social justice, inclusion and equity through themed research reports is the first stage of our Knowledge Mobilization Strategy to:

  • identify individual and systemic biases and barriers within and outside of school
  • understand impact on various social identities
  • remove individual and systemic biases and barriers to enable all students to achieve their highest potential


Anti-Oppression Framework

It is important to review the findings through an Anti-Oppression Framework to understand that differences in the educational experiences and outcomes among various groups are the direct result of inequities within and beyond schools and school boards, and are not a reflection of deficits within students and their families. We encourage readers to engage with the questions below, which support a review of the data from an Anti-Oppression perspective. As such, it is important to review findings in this report with the understanding that: 

  • Biases must be examined to ensure that students, families, and communities are not further marginalized or stigmatized in reviewing and interpreting data.
  • Disparities in student experiences and outcomes reflect systemic inequities.
  • Responses to disparities in student outcomes must focus on strategies and initiatives to promote equitable institutional structures and practices. 


Engaging with ESCS Data 

  • What do you notice about the data? What stands out for you? 
  • How does your social location influence how you interpret the data? 
  • How will you shift or maintain your focus on looking at systems and structures (e.g., school practices, school environment, Board practices) rather than attributing students’ experiences and outcomes to deficits within students and families? 
  • What does the data suggest about the experiences of students and their families? 
  • What assumptions or inferences might you be making about students and their families based on the data? 
  • Whose voices may not be represented in the data? 
  • In what ways are the data similar to, or different from, other data sources (e.g., municipal, community agencies, other school boards)? 
  • What additional data sources are needed to understand both complementary and divergent perspectives regarding educational experiences? 

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