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Student Engagement and Experiences

ABSENTEEISM IN THE TDSB: This Research Today (2009) article examines key patterns in TDSB absenteeism, both elementary and secondary. 

BEYOND 3:30: A MULTI-PURPOSE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR INNER-CITY MIDDLE SCHOOLS, PHASE IV EVALUATION: Beyond 3:30 (B3:30) is an innovative extended after-school program for adolescents in 18 of the Model Schools for Inner Cities (MSIC) schools.  This Phase IV Evaluation investigated whether and how the immediate benefits of B3:30 that were studied at length in previous phases (e.g., homework completion, eating habits, physical activity, independent life skills, as well as social and emotional development) had any long-term impacts on middle-school participants into their high school years.  In addition, this evaluation examined the ripple effects the program had on the sociocultural environments around participants – including their day school, their family, their neighbourhood and the community.  This report concluded that B3:30 is a cost-effective investment that could yield multiple, far-reaching and long-lasting effects to improve not only the trajectory of inner-city students, but also their immediate environments. Click here for the Phase IV Evaluation (2015), here for the Phase III Evaluation (2014), here for the Phase II Evaluation (2013), and here for the Phase I Evaluation (2012). Click here for the Research Today (2016) which summarizes key findings from the multi-phase Beyond 3:30 evaluation reports.

CARING AND SAFE SCHOOLS: A caring, safe, respectful, orderly, and purposeful learning environment, in which everyone is engaged and demonstrates personal and social responsibility, is essential to student learning. In support of the collective efforts of TDSB staff to ensure continuous improvement and high levels of success for all students, this fact sheet (2013) provides TDSB student suspension information by demographic and family background characteristics, as captured and measured by the TDSB's Student and Parent Census and the Student Information System. 

CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS IN THE FRENCH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE PROGRAMS AT THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD: This research brief (2015) outlines demographic and achievement characteristics for the students in the French Immersion (FI) and Extended French (EF) programs at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). 

EXPULSION DECISION-MAKING PROCESS AND EXPELLED STUDENTS' TRANSITION EXPERIENCE IN THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD: A caring, safe, respectful, orderly, and purposeful learning environment is essential to student learning. Ontario's Education Act prohibits specific behaviours in every school and, if no mitigating factors exist, requires mandatory suspensions or expulsions. To foster understanding among stakeholders and the public, this research report (2017) outlines the student discipline decision-making process and provides the student transition experience into and out of the Board's Caring and Safe School programs in the past five school years, particularly for expelled students. 

FEEDING OUR FUTURE: THE FIRST- AND SECOND-YEAR EVALUATION: The Feeding Our Future program is a student nutrition program in the Toronto District School Board that offers nutritious meals to all students regardless of their ability to pay. This program aims to provide a healthy meal to about 6,000 students in four middle schools (Grades 6 to 8) and three secondary schools located in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood. Click here for the full report (2012).

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION: A Case For Inclusive Education reviews current literature and evidence-based studies regarding inclusive education practices and outcomes, governing principles, as well as school, board and system-level strategies. Click here for the full report (2014). The newly released report entitled Inclusion - Creating School and Classroom Communities Where Everyone Belongs is a follow up to the 2014 TDSB report, A Case for Inclusive Education. While its predecessor looked at why an inclusive model of education is important, this new report closely explores what constitutes inclusion and provides relevant research and strategies into how educators and administrators can realize its potential. Click here for the full report (2015). This fact sheet (2017) looks at examples of recent TDSB research as background for upcoming changes to the Home School Program (HSP) and inclusive education practices.

INSPIRED TO EXCEL: HOW A PRE-KINDERGARTEN SUMMER LEARNING PROGRAM BENEFITTED THE YOUNGEST LEARNERS IN THE TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD: The early years is a critical, formative period during which experiences and environments facilitate childhood development. For this reason the Board offered a free four-week pre-Kindergarten summer learning program to facilitate young children's transition into formal schooling within a responsive and culturally sensitive pedagogical framework. Mixed research methods were utilized to investigate the impacts on participating children, their parents/caregivers, and educators in this report (2017).

LICENSED TO LEARN (L2L): A PEER TUTOR PROGRAM BENEFITTING BOTH STUDENT TUTORS AND PEERS: This Research Today article (2011) highlights the success of the Licensed to Learn (L2L) program, a dual peer tutor program with two concurrent components - (i) to train older and higher achieving students to become certified tutors, and (ii) to have them offer, as part of their practicum, after-school tutoring support to younger more at-risk students. This research shows how both groups of students benefitted from this special peer tutoring program.

MODEL SCHOOLS FOR INNER CITIES: A 10-YEAR OVERVIEW: This Research Today article (2018) highlights the work of the TDSB’s Model Schools for Inner Cites (MSIC) program in its last 10 years – including a brief description of its history, structure, essential components and philosophy. Some key research findings are presented to demonstrate the impacts the program has made on MSIC students, and six conditions for its success are also listed.

MODEL SCHOOLS PAEDIATRIC HEALTH INITIATIVE: IN-SCHOOL HEALTH CLINICS, PHASE IV: SUMMATIVE EVALUATION: This is a summative evaluation of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Model Schools Paediatric Health Initiative (MSPHI), which was launched in late 2010 with the opening of in-school health clinics at a number of inner-city schools. Building on the cumulative findings from the three previous and the current phases of evaluation, this study attempts to provide a comprehensive examination of the MSPHI as a cost-effective integrated service delivery model to address both the physical and mental health needs of vulnerable student populations with implications for their education success. Click here for the Phase IV Summative Evaluation (2015) and the Research Today (2016), for the Phase III Evaluation (2014), for the Phase II Report (2013), and for the Phase I Report (2012).

PARENT AND FAMILY LITERACY CENTRES (PFLC): This evaluative study focuses on the impact of Parenting and Family Literacy Centres on young students in terms of a smoother transition to formal schooling, early child development, and longer-term benefits such as academic performance, school engagement, and positive schooling experience. Click here for the Research Today (2005) article and the full report (2009). Following these earlier results, this Research Today (2013) article examines the "how" of the program - i.e., the crucial elements behind the PFLC philosophy and practice that help explain its positive impact on young children, especially those from high-needs communities.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY VS SCREEN TIME: WHO'S DOING WHAT AND HOW MUCH?: This Research Today article (2011) highlights TDSB findings, some of which are referenced in the 2011 Get Active Toronto Report on Physical Activity. Data from the TDSB 2006 Student Census was re-examined for a closer look at the relationships between demographic factors and middle-level and secondary school studentsÂ’ participation patterns in a number of areas. 

REVIEW OF ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS: RESEARCH ANALYSIS 2016-17: This report (2017) briefly examines the 2015-17 alternative school system in the Toronto District School Board. The report was taken from existing information available from Research and Information Services; an examination of consultation sessions held in Spring 2017; and a summary examination of academic research, on key themes raised by the consultation sessions. 

PROGRAMS OF CHOICE IN THE TDSB: CHARACTERISTICS OF STUDENTS IN FRENCH IMMERSION, ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS, AND OTHER SPECIALIZED SCHOOLS AND PROGRAMS: The purpose of this study (2010) is to provide policy makers and practitioners a systematic review of the school and student characteristics for French Immersion programs, alternative schools, and other specialized schools and programs to support evidence informed decision-making. 

STUDENTS' EXPERIENCES OF BELONGING IN SCHOOL: According to research, belonging in school means that students experience a sense of membership, are recognized as equals, experience shared power, engage in critical citizenship, and not least, they experience a sense of safety and inclusion. Using responses from the TDSB's 2011 Student Census, a scale of belonging was developed and explored across identity characteristics. This fact sheet (2014) on students' experiences of belonging in school outlines the results of this study.  



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