The TDSB is committed to the highest levels of privacy and confidentiality in collecting information about students and follows all privacy requirements outlined in the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).
The two main objectives of the MFIPPA as it applies to school boards are:
- to provide the public with a right of access to information in the possession and control of the school board; and
- to protect the privacy of individuals, such as students, teachers or principals, with regards to personal information about themselves that is held by a school board.
According to the MFIPPA, personal information is “information relating to race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or family status of the individual.”
Human Rights Legislative Requirements:
The Ontario Human Rights Code allows for information such as race, disability or gender to be collected as long as it is for reasons such as:
- preventing discrimination
- finding and removing barriers
- improving disadvantages
- promoting equality
The Human Rights Commission has even recommended that information be collected based on the grounds of race and disability in key public services, including education, to monitor and prevent discrimination.
Protecting Students' Identities on this Survey
The information students and parents provide is confidential but is not anonymous. Students’ names and ID numbers will not appear on the Census form. To ensure confidentiality, a special number has been developed that can only be used by the Research Department. With this special number, staff in the Research Department are able to link the information provided with other information the Board already collects about students, such as report card data and EQAO results. The Census form will be returned in a sealed envelope, which will not be opened at the school. The completed Census form is sent directly to the Research Department and then entered into a computer. The Census forms are destroyed after the information from the Census has been entered. Other than Research staff, no one (including school staff) can have access to an individual Student Census or Parent Census form or to any information on the form.