OurSCHOOL updates for 2020-21 Print or save as PDF

Good day, OurSCHOOL Division/System Coordinators.

This email provides information to acting OurSCHOOL Division/System Coordinators. If you are not the acting Division/System Coordinator, please forward this email to your Division/System Coordinator and copy me. Thanks.

I hope that this email finds you and your families doing well in these challenging times. Although we may find ourselves in a very different place this year, the 2020-21 school survey will continue to provide data to assist schools in monitoring factors and effects of school policy and practice that may affect student engagement, learning and well-being. Thank you in advance for your participation and effort in the implementation of the survey and in using results to improve student engagement.

Following are important updates for the 2020-21 administration. You may wish to use parts of these points in your messaging to your school coordinators.

1. Provincial reports are attached.

In 2019-20, the provincial OurSCHOOL administration had over 80,000 student responses as to their engagement, school climate and well-being. Please find attached the 2019-20 Provincial Elementary and Secondary reports for your review. You may wish to forward these provincial reports to your school coordinators and principals.

2. Administration window:

Following are the OurSCHOOL survey administration windows for 2020-21 school year. Every school with students grades 4-12 can participate during the fall, spring or both survey windows. Due to the delays in opening the survey window this year, a decision was made to extend the fall survey window to the end of January, 2021. If your schools are administering the survey late in the fall window, I would recommend completing the survey before school holidays in December or beginning the survey upon return in January for completion by the end of the month. Please let me know whether you will be administering the survey in the fall, spring, or both, and inform your schools as to the dates that the survey will be available in your division/organization. 

OurSCHOOL Survey

Fall Window

Spring Window

Student Survey October  22, 2020 – January 29, 2021 March 1 – May 14, 2021
The platform will be open for divisions/authorities to compose their survey on October 20 so that schools may survey as early as October 22, if desired.
Teacher Survey October 22, 2020 – June 26, 2021


3. Division Coordinator Training:

If this is your first year as coordinator, or if you would like a refresher course, a one-to-one training session can be arranged to walk you through the set-up of your survey and to answer questions that you may have. Please let Melissa Morgan (The Learning Bar Account Success Manager) at [ or 1-877-840-2424, ext. 3048] know if you wish to set up an individual session. Alternatively, you can use the steps provided in the District Coordinator Orientation guide. This article can assist you with the planning of your division/school survey and navigating the resources available.

4. School Coordinators’ Start-up Training via Webinar:

The Learning Bar has a number of regularly scheduled, recurring webinars available to all coordinators from across Canada. Please make a point to attend one of the forthcoming sessions. Your leadership can make a difference for establishing value, buy-in and sustainable use of the OurSCHOOL results in divisions and schools. There will be a minimum of 2 live webinars per week for each month from October – December, providing many opportunities for your School Coordinators to attend.

At the link below, please review the dates provided with your OurSCHOOL team and register to attend a live session, if possible. Please note that these sessions are provided using the platform ZOOM, however sessions can be scheduled at any time and through the platform of your choosing.  Additional dates and times will be added throughout the fall. Attending the live webinar provides an opportunity for you to ask questions and provide feedback as well as to connect with other coordinators across the country. A recorded session will be available within this link as well.

Link: OurSCHOOL Start-Up Training for School Coordinators

The OurSCHOOL Start-up Training webinars are specifically designed to prepare Division and School Coordinators and Principals to:

  • set-up a survey completing all steps including the addition of optional open-ended and multiple-choice questions;
  • generate usernames and passwords; and,
  • become familiar with attributes of the survey site with a view to understanding the importance of their role to increase value of the survey data in their schools.

5. Survey measures for 2020-21:

Attached is a copy of the provincial configuration for the 2020-21 elementary and secondary surveys.

The provincial configuration for this school year is locked for the first implementation cycle for each school division. The survey has been configured to ensure that every school, division and authority will have access to three thematic reports at the secondary level: School CompletionBullying and School Safety and Student Engagement. These thematic reports provide information and support for school divisions and schools in the work towards improving engagement and graduation rates.

As in previous years, there will remain space to add measures and/or custom questions to this provincial configuration. You may add up to 3 Multiple Choice(MCQs)/Multiple Answer questions (MAQs) to your survey at the division level and each school may add up to 2 MCQs/MAQs and Open Ended Questions. If you are interested in contracting additional space, you may contact Melissa to make those arrangements.

New features to the OurSCHOOL student survey this year:

  • Transition Back to School Module - Measure the Impact of COVID-19 within your school communityEvery school and district is unique and will have its own challenges, goals, and priorities to address. This module may be added to the elementary and secondary student surveys this year and will cover topics including connectedness with the school community, effectiveness of remote learning strategies, learning gaps, and mental health impacts related to COVID-19. The addition of this module may add up to 4 minutes. The new Transition Back to School module is designed to provide you with a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on your school community and help you to set goals and inform strategies. For further information, please see this article.
  • New Well-Being Survey - The OurSCHOOL Well‐Being Survey module allows you to understand many aspects of your students’ well‐being and the role that school environment may play in shaping it. It uses a holistic approach to measuring well‐being across cognitive, physical, emotional, and social dimensions and measures concepts such as self-regulation, cultural awareness, sense of purpose, happiness and personal expression. These measures are available for selection in the secondary survey and will add approximately an additional 15 minutes.
  • New drill-down  Instructional Environment  This question has been added to all surveys allowing students to identify according to their current learning situation; at school, learning at home or both learning at home and at school. Coordinators will have the ability to disaggregate by students’ current learning situation.

6. Survey Guide for survey administrators:

Successful pre-survey student preparation can be a means by which schools can reduce survey completion times and encourage students to approach the survey as an opportunity to share their experiences and provide feedback.  This link to this guide can be used to assist teachers or other staff in introducing the survey to students prior to surveying.

7. Teacher Survey:

About 50% of schools administer the teacher survey each year. The OurSCHOOL Teacher Survey is available to each of your schools. You will receive an aggregate report which must be requested from The Learning Bar. The default access is master login (a single login link for all users). If you want a unique login for each teacher, contact If you would like more information about the teacher survey, please follow this link (Transition Back to School module is also available for the teacher survey).

8. Parent Survey:

Although the parent survey is not funded within the provincial contract, it is available to schools for a reduced cost of $100 per school. A reminder that the parent survey is available in 23 languages to provide an increased opportunity for parents to participate.  The Transition Back to School is also available for the parent survey. If you would like more information about the parent survey, please follow this link.

9. Supports and Resources:

  • The Learning Bar continues to add to the Knowledge Base within the OurSCHOOL web platform. There are many supports and resources, including a new COVID section, that can assist you in using the OurSCHOOL survey and results as well as a list of support documents that you may find useful in explaining and preparing students, staff and parents – see the attached presentation template for an example. The effort in preparing your students to take the survey is essential to increasing the validity of the results. Please take a moment to check out some of these supports:
  • The ministry, in collaboration with schools and divisions and First Nation education authorities, has also developed numerous resources intended to support and guide the OurSCHOOL process. These resources are available in English and French and can be accessed at the Ministry Blackboard site. The addition of a number of Student Engagement in Action Briefs will be available highlighting a number of schools and divisions/authorities and their efforts to improve student engagement and education outcomes. If you have a story that reflects a school/community’s efforts in response to student voice, please let me know so that we can share with others through this site. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can assist you or your team in data-driven conversations and plans in response. Thank you for your continued efforts in supporting student voice.

Yours in supporting student voice,

Jacqueline Hagel
Provincial OurSCHOOL Coordinator

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