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    Revised Demographic Student Climate Survey Questions
    Posted on 05/05/2021

    Revised Demographic Student Climate Survey Questions

    Seattle Public Schools values all students and makes every effort to make visible the varied experiences of young people in our schools. When students see themselves reflected in the curriculum, in the classroom, and in their communities, they feel safe, welcome, and more connected to school.

    In support of this effort, and in response to student need, SPS will continue to engage in programs and practices that lift up and reflect all students' identities and experiences.

    In large and small ways, we are improving our practice to better serve all students. Some examples of these changes include:

    To better represent all students, and in response to student need, SPS will be using newly developed gender identity and sexual orientation questions on district-developed surveys. While many student surveys have already included questions about gender identity and sexual orientation, the updated questions better reflect the language being used by students. Review the revised survey questions.

    District surveys will include gender identity questions for grades 3-12 and will include the sexual orientation questions for grade 6-12. Seattle Schools has included both gender identity questions and sexual orientation questions in surveys over the past 10 years. These newly modified questions were developed with student, staff, and family input, and reflect the shift in language seen in similar questions being used in districts across the country.

    Seattle Public Schools recognizes the importance of making student experiences and identities visible. We also value the identity safety of all students. To that end we will intentionally and purposefully recognize and celebrate the many identities our students hold. We are proud to support all 53,000 students across the district.

    To support conversations at home, the district offers the following resources.

     

    Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Question for Student Surveys

    Elementary

    Which of the following best describes your gender identity? (Check all that apply)

    • Girl
    • Boy
    • Non-Binary
    • Transgender
    • Cisgender
    • Questioning/not sure
    • Something else fits better (please write in here):

    Secondary

    Which of the following best describes your gender identity? (Check all that apply)

    • Non-Binary
    • Transgender
    • Girl/Woman
    • Boy/Man
    • Cisgender
    • Questioning/not sure
    • Something else fits better (please write in here):

    Which of the following best describes your sexual orientation? (Check all that Apply)

    • Bisexual
    • Lesbian
    • Gay
    • Queer
    • Pansexual
    • Asexual
    • Heterosexual (straight)
    • Questioning/not sure
    • Something else fits better (please write in here):
    • I do not know what this question is asking

    Student Survey FAQ

    Who has access to the student answers?

    The survey is anonymous. No one will be able to trace responses back to individual students. In addition, Panorama won't share survey results in their reports if less than 10 students in any group respond.

    How will this information be used?

    To understand and support population-specific programming and resources; to inform SPS staff trainings and community partner services and supports; and to seek funding to support safe and welcoming school environments for all our students.

    Will information be accessible at the aggregate level or individual student level?

    The survey is anonymous, and no one will be able to trace responses to individual students. Survey results will be reported in the aggregate only, by school and for various student groups based on demographic questions in the survey. Panorama won't share results in the reporting platform if less than 10 students in any group respond.

    Is it developmentally appropriate to ask elementary students questions about gender?

    Gender identity development typically occurs in early childhood. We know from national research and from our own work with elementary age students, that young people are considering and identifying their gender as early as kindergarten and continue to express and affirm their identities into adolescence and beyond. In addition, our Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which asks similar gender identity and sexual orientation questions, shows that many students identify as LGBTQ in middle school.

    For more information, the Gender Spectrum website has terrific information and links to educator resources and research.

    Does my student have to answer these questions?

    No, students can choose not to answer any of the background/demographic questions.