The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) released its 2017 census Tuesday outlining how students are faring in schools when it comes to their physical, mental and emotional health, among other things. The census also looks at the relationship between students and their peers.
The census was completed by more than 220,000 students and parents. This is third TDSB survey of parents and students in junior kindergarten to Grade 6 and for students in grades 7 to 12. It is first one taken by students in grades 4 to 6.
Below are some key findings from the census. Click here to read the complete census.
- 41 per cent to 45 per cent of students are from lower income families, though the proportion of higher income students is rising.
- Most parents are satisfied with their children’s school experiences including their teachers, support for and fair treatment of their kids, and a welcoming school environment for parents.
- Only 49 per cent of grade 9 to 12 students reported enjoying school, which is less than in the 2011-2012 census.
Overall, fewer students in grades 7 to 12 said they were verbally bullied, but there was an increase in social bullying in grades 7 to 8. Below is a breakdown.
- 19 per cent of students in grades 4 to 6 report being physically bullied, compared to 13 per cent for those in grades 7 and 8 and eight per cent in grades 9 to 12.
- 33 per cent of students in grades 4 to 6 and 33 per cent of students in grades 7 and 8 say they have been bullied verbally, compared to 23 per cent among students in grades 9 to 12.
- 28 per cent of students in grades 4 to 6 report being socially bullied, compared to 27 per cent of those in grades 7 and 8, and 21 per cent among students in grades 9 to 12.
- Six per cent of students in grades 4 to 6 were cyber-bullied, compared to 10 per cent for grades 7 and 8, and 10 per cent of students in grades 9 to 12.
Mental and emotional health
Overall, emotional well-being in students grades 7 to 12 has dropped by 10 per cent, compared to the 2011-2012 census.
- Emotional well-being for LGBTQ2+ students in grades 7 to 12 is roughly half of their heterosexual peers.
- From 2007 to 2017, more female students in grades 7 to 12 report poorer mental health at a higher rate than their male counterparts.
- More students in grades 7 to 12 felt nervous, stressed or under pressure, and worried about their mental health, physical health, and grades.
- Children of parents with better socioeconomic status report slightly less emotional well-being than middle class ones.
- Fewer students in grades 7 to 12 get regular physical activity in comparison to the findings in 2012.
- Based on the requirement that teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep each night, 67 per cent of students in grades 9 to 12 are sleep-deprived.
Social media use
- Students in grades 9 to 12 spent more than 60 per cent of their time on social media, with a higher rate of use reported among female students (38 per cent) compared to male students (26 per cent).