Well-Being and Health Youth (WHY) Survey

What is the purpose of the WHY Surveys?

The purpose of the Well-being Health and Youth (WHY) Surveys is to collect information from youth, parents, and school staff about youth health and well-being. These surveys will identify issues that could be addressed by schools, school boards, and local service providers. The information can be used to inform planning decisions, including Board Improvement Plans. Because the surveys will be conducted every two years, we can also monitor trends over time.

Who will be doing the WHY Surveys?

The WHY Surveys include questionnaires for students, parents and school staff.  Grade 4 to 12 students at schools within the Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board will be asked to participate in the student survey. These grades were chosen so that we have a full picture of how students are doing throughout their time in school. All school staff and parents will also be invited to complete a survey.

What are the WHY Surveys?

The WHY Surveys are a combination of the Upper Grand District School Board’s School Climate Survey, Wellington Catholic District School Board’s “Wellington Catholic Speaks Up!” Survey and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s Youth Survey. 

The student survey asks questions about a variety of topics including students’ physical activity, eating habits, screen time, bullying, time spent with family and friends, sense of safety, and school involvement, among other topics. The Intermediate/Senior version of the survey (Grades 7 to 12) asks additional questions about substance use and sexual health. The parent survey asks about the parent’s relationship with the school, the experiences of their child at school, and their personal well-being. The staff survey asks about student well-being and school climate.

Is participation in the WHY Surveys voluntary?

Yes, participation is voluntary. Students, parents and staff do not have to answer every question and may choose to stop at any time.

Will the identity of students, staff, parents, schools and boards be protected?

Yes, the survey will not collect identifying information from students or parents and all information collected will be strictly confidential. Only aggregated data will be reported publicly to ensure anonymity for individual students, teachers, parents, schools, and boards.

How will the WHY Surveys impact classroom time at our schools?

The student survey will be completed online by students in the school’s computer lab, or equivalent space. It is anticipated that this will take approximately 30 minutes of class time, including instructions. Following survey completion, students will resume regular course work.

Each school is provided with a WHY Survey package, which includes all of the resources required to administer the survey, including information letters for teachers, Parent Information Letter and Refusal Form, and a teacher script to read on the day of the survey.

How will the results of the WHY Surveys be used?

The results will be analyzed and presented in the following user-friendly reports:

  • School Profiles (for principals and school staff): The School Profiles will summarize school-level results, which can be compared to Board and regional results. The profiles are intended to support students, staff and parents in school improvement planning. The results will provide a foundation for action throughout your school and board.
  • WDG Report Cards on the Well-Being of Children: Local aggregate data will be shared with the public and community service providers online through the Report Card’s Data Portal.  You can access data from previous surveys on the Report Card website: www.wdgreportcard.com
  • Publications & Conferences: Aggregate data may be shared in professional or academic publications and conferences.

How will the WHY Surveys benefit local schools and community?

  • Schools and Boards need to report on the well-being of the children in their schools. The data collected through the survey will support Board and School Improvement Plans. The results may also be used to inform school-level activities necessary for the Safe Schools Act.
  • Results of the WHY Surveys will be shared with local community agencies to support the development of local priorities and plans for action.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

If you have any questions about the WHY Surveys, please contact Blair Hodgson at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4312 or blair.hodgson@wdgpublichealth.ca.

If you have questions about how your school or school board will use the results, please contact:

  • Upper Grand District School Board: Cheryl Van Ooteghem, Superintendent of Education, 519-822-4420 ext.747, cheryl.vanooteghem@ugdsb.on.ca.
  • Wellington Catholic District School Board: Brenda Kenyon, Mental Health Lead & Manager of Student Mental Health Services, 519-821-4640 ext. 216, Brenda.kenyon@wellingtoncdsb.ca.