ESCS - Report: Facts and Trends in Suspensions

Every Student Counts Survey

The Every Student Counts Survey is a student census that was conducted in late 2018 in every York Region District School Board school. In 2020, the Overall Board Results were released. During the summer and fall of 2021, data from the Every Student Counts Survey will be released in a series of themed research reports. 

The ESCS follows Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan and Ontario's Anti Racism Data Standards to identify and eliminate systemic barriers to student success, create more equitable and inclusive school environments, and improve student achievement and well-being. This series of research reports is the result of a comprehensive community engagement. Learn more about our approach to reviewing the data and developing the reports. 


Facts and Trends in Suspensions

View Report: Facts and Trends in Suspensions (PDF)

The first report, Facts and Trends in Suspensions, shows that while suspension rates remained relatively stable prior to pandemic, students who self-identified as Black, Indigenous and Latino/a/x and Middle Eastern are disproportionately suspended from school. In addition, students with Special Education Needs (excluding gifted) had higher suspension rate and were  over-represented in the suspensions compared to students without special education needs.

The disproportionality ratio is used by the Board to identify over representation and under-representation of an identity group in suspensions compared with their representation in the YRDSB population.

Collecting identity-based data through the ESCS supports the identification of groups of students who are underserved through such disciplinary practices, and as a result are unable to reach their full academic, social and emotional potential at York Region District School Board. By addressing the role student discipline plays in streaming students towards particular pathways (e.g., unemployment), the aim of this report is to bring about positive change for students who are historically and currently underserved. 

​​​​To address these inequities YRDSB will:

  • Continue to provide training and support on applying bias-aware progressive discipline, racial and historical trauma, anti-Black racism and Indigenous education.
  • Update its protocol to address all incidents of racism, hate and discrimination.
  • Implement a new process for September 2021 to record all incidents of hate, racism and discrimation.
  • Review and revise restorative practices through the lens of anti-oppression and anti-racism. 
  • Create an intervention program for Black students at risk of being, or who have been suspended or expelled with the aim of providing inclusive and engaging learning spaces for all students that honour and affirm students’ individual identities, in order to reduce the number of school days lost to suspensions, as outlined in the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy
  • Strengthen the anti-racism protocol to address incidents of anti-Black racism. This protocol will identify the steps that educators, school administrators, and staff must take when they witness an incident, or when one is brought to their attention, as outlined in the Dismantling Anti-Black Racism Strategy.  
  • Ensure appropriate intervention strategies are put in place that align with the students’ Individual Education Plans. 
  • Expunge suspension records for students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school year. 
  • Implement age-appropriate prevention programs, practising early intervention and providing the necessary wraparound supports to meet the needs of the students.