Results from Grand Erie's First Student Census Will Inform the Board's Next Steps for Planning and Supports for Students

The results are in from Grand Erie District School Board’s first student census, a survey of students in Grades 4-12 conducted last spring. The data collected will be used to better understand student needs, remove barriers to inclusion, and effectively plan programming and supports for all students.

“The census findings provide a more accurate picture of our student populations and school communities, an understanding which is crucial to ensuring equity and addressing systemic barriers,” said Wayne Baker, Superintendent of Education responsible for Grand Erie’s Safe and Inclusive Schools team, which led this initiative. “To help students succeed, we need to understand who they are.”

The confidential and voluntary student census was completed in class, and asked students about themselves and their experiences both inside and outside of school. Grand Erie’s participation rate was 83 per cent. Responses are secured in a database accessed only by authorized research staff.

“It was extremely important that the census capture a multitude of student voices,” said Baker. “What we now know is that we have diversity in all areas of our Board, and this information will help us close the gaps for marginalized students.”

The census initiative follows Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, the province’s strategy for identifying and eliminating discriminatory practices, barriers, and biases from schools and classrooms, and is a critical step to ensuring equity and addressing the factors affecting it. The census was supported by Grand Erie’s Board of Trustees, Senior Administration, and a host of community groups and organizations.

Key findings from the census report include:

  • 12 per cent of respondents identified as Indigenous (Six Nations, First Nations, Metis, or Inuit)
  • A majority of Grand Erie students identified as white (81 per cent), with more racial diversity in the City of Brantford where 29 per cent of respondents identified as non-white, followed by Haldimand County (21 per cent), and the Counties of Brant and Norfolk (both 13 per cent)
  • 31 per cent of respondents indicated some form of disability (including mental health, learning, or medical-related)
  • Students in Grades 9-12 were asked about sexual orientation. From those students, 16 per cent identified as other than heterosexual (gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual or pansexual)
  • Overall, respondents had a positive view of school, with 74 per cent indicating they feel accepted by adults at school, and 73 per cent indicating they feel their teachers care about them.

For the full report on the student census and its findings, click here.

For the public data set from the student census, click here.

For questions about the student census, contact Greg Rousell, System Research Leader at Grand Erie at: or 519-756-6301, ext. 281042.

June 7, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Re: Report of an incident and suspicious male in the Ryerson Heights area

In the interest of community safety and to best ensure the safety of our students, the Brantford Police Service has provided us with information about the report of an incident in the Ryerson Heights Elementary School area.

On Monday, June 6, 2016 at approximately 4:55 p.m., three primary school students who were at the after-school program at Ryerson Heights School on Dowdon Ave, observed a man outside of the school fence line acting in a suspicious manner. The man was described as holding a sharp object in his hand, which possibly was a knife. The man was reported to have had blood on his hand. The man did not approach the students, however made some negative comments to them before walking away from the area.

The man was described as white, 40-50 years old, with a bald head and wearing a black t-shirt.

Police are continuing in their investigation. Anyone who has information regarding the potential identity of the man or may have witnessed the event is urged to contact Detective Laureen Bird of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit at 519-756-0113 ext 3001.

To help ensure the safety of our students, please talk to your child about what to do if a ‘stranger’ or ‘strangers’ approach them for any reason. Teachers will also review safety protocols in class about how to stay safe in the community.

Click here for more information about street safety.

If you have any questions, please contact me.


Jane Goldspink

Principal (Acting)

Bus Incident

On February 29th, 2016, during the Grade 3 Swim to Survive Trip, the bus was pulled over by police at Conklin and Blackburn. The police had received a report about the driver's abilities. The bus company sent another bus to bring the students back to the school. The students were supervised by the teachers until they met up with their parents. An investigation was carried out by the bus company and communicated by the transportation department. I can tell you that outside influences, such as substances, were not a factor in the driver's abilities. The bus company will take their own action. The driver will not drive for our school moving forward. I am sorry that this happened to our students on their trip. It was upsetting for them and their parents as they waited. Please contact me with any concerns.

Thank you. Mrs. Clara Anderson

Santa Visits WGES

Santa made a special visit to the students of WGES. Students and staff made Christmas crafts and celebrated the season with our Adoptive Grandparents from John Noble Home. Thanks to the School Council for organizing this event.