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Answering Students’ Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of this survey?

SHORT ANSWER:
This survey allows you to provide your thoughts and opinions on your school.

LONG ANSWER:
This survey helps us discover students’ feelings towards school, any problems that may be occurring, and ideas for making the school better. This is your chance to tell us what you think.

Note: each school may have a different answer to this question, but it’s important to let students know that you value them taking the time to complete the survey.

2. Do I have to do this survey?  

SHORT ANSWER:
No, this survey is voluntary.

LONG ANSWER:
We ask you to participate to help make your school better. If you do not want to participate, you do not have to. Also, if you start answering questions and you want to stop participating, you can choose to stop at any time. Finally, you can choose to skip any questions you do not feel comfortable answering.

3. Is this a test?  

SHORT ANSWER:
No, this is not a test.

LONG ANSWER:
There are no right or wrong answers. Nothing you say on this survey will ever be connected with you, your grades, or your performance in school. We will never see your individual answers. Be honest, and be yourself, and that will help to make your school a better place!

4. Will anyone see my answers?  

SHORT ANSWER: 
This survey is anonymous, and no one will ever know your answers except you.

LONG ANSWER:
This survey does not ask for your name, or student ID number, so your answers cannot be connected to you. That means your teachers, school staff, friends, and parents will never know your answers. Answers for the entire grade or school are always combined and displayed together, so no one will ever see individual students’ answers.

Note: If students will have an opportunity to see the results and/or join in the process of interpreting them, share this information before they complete the survey.

5. Why are the questions so personal?

SHORT ANSWER:
We ask these questions because they are important and are linked to student health and wellness.

LONG ANSWER:
The survey asks some questions that may seem very personal or private, such as parents’ education, students’ height and weight, or smoking, drinking, and drug use behaviours. We ask these questions because they are important and are connected  to student health and wellness. It is important to remember that the survey is anonymous, and no one will ever know your answers.

6. Why do you want to know if I’m Indigenous or an Immigrant?

SHORT ANSWER:
Answers to these questions allow us to understand the experiences of different groups of students and to make sure that all of our decisions about improvement work equally well for all students.

LONG ANSWER:
The survey is a great chance for you to have your voice heard. It is important that we hear from specific groups of students, such as students who are Indigenous or Immigrants. Answering “yes” to these questions will help us know what your concerns, feelings, and thoughts are. However, we are also careful about protecting your identity: your answers will always remain anonymous.

7. Why do you include questions that are unrelated to school?

SHORT ANSWER:
All questions included in the survey help tell us about students, their health, and their school outcomes.

LONG ANSWER:
Some of the questions may seem unrelated to school, but all questions included in the survey help tell us about you, your health, and your school outcomes. Even things that do not seem related to school, like the foods we eat or how much time we watch TV at home, can give us important information on how to help you be successful at school.

Note: If you really want to know why a question is being asked, and you cannot find out from the person coordinating the survey at your school or from your principal, you are invited to ask The Learning Bar through your school.

8. Where do my answers go when I complete the survey?

SHORT ANSWER:
Your answers are used to create reports that show us how we can make our school better for students.

LONG ANSWER:
Your answers to the survey questions are sent over a secure data line to The Learning Bar. Your answers are combined with the answers of other students in the same grade and school. This information is used to make reports that show teachers and school staff how they can make your school better.

9. What if I don’t understand a question? 

SHORT ANSWER:
Raise your hand and ask for assistance.

LONG ANSWER:
If you have trouble understanding a question, please tell your teacher or the school staff member who is coordinating the survey. If you need help to answer a question, raise your hand and ask for assistance.

10. Why is there no back button? 

SHORT ANSWER:
To protect your answers, so other students who use the same computer after you cannot use the back button to see your answers.

LONG ANSWER:
There is no back button on the survey. This means once you finish a page of the survey, you cannot go back and make changes to your previous answers. This helps to protect your answers, so other students who use the same computer after you cannot use the back button to see your answers. However, it also means that if you make a mistake, you cannot go back and fix it. It’s important to be careful when you are doing the survey, but remember, it is not a test, and one or two mistakes will not make a big difference in the final results for the whole school. 

11. Why does the progress bar jump?

SHORT ANSWER:
The progress bar at the top of the screen will increase as you complete each page of the survey.

LONG ANSWER:
The progress bar shows how many questions you have left to complete on the survey. However, it doesn’t go up after each question you answer, it only goes up after each page you complete. This means the bar may go up a lot for a page that contains many questions, but only a little for a page that contains only a few.

12. Why do you ask the same questions each year? 

SHORT ANSWER:
Your answers help us to understand how we can improve our school and your learning. If we make changes, what you tell us on the survey helps us understand if they are making a positive difference for students year-over-year.

LONG ANSWER:
If you have completed the OurSCHOOL survey multiple times, you may notice that we ask the same questions. This is because it allows us to see how your responses to the same questions change over time. The same students can actually give different answers as they move up a grade and have new teachers, or as new events happen in their school.

The results of the survey are used to make positive changes. Asking the same questions each year helps us understand if these changes are making a positive difference for students.