Explore Your Data

We want MDI data to go directly back into the hands of the people who helped us collect it: the children who answered our questionnaires, and the schools, school districts, and communities that support them.

About Our Reports

MDI School Reports provide group-level data for Grade 4 and Grade 7 students who completed the MDI at participating schools. Neither individual students nor their answers are identifiable. Data are suppressed when there are less than 5 children represented in the data. Separate reports are produced for Grade 4 and Grade 7 students and these reports are available via an online portal by MDI administrators. These reports can be shared, at their discretion, with teachers, parents, and others in the community. HELP does not release school-level data or reports publicly.

MDI School District & Community Reports combine the data from participating district’s school reports into district-wide summaries of child well-being: one for Grade 4 and one for Grade 7, depending on the district’s participation. Neither individual students nor their answers are identifiable and data are suppressed when there are less than 35 children represented in the data. The data are also aggregated and reported by the neighbourhoods within a school district’s geographic boundaries using children’s home postal codes. Presenting data according to where children live allows communities to reflect on the influences on child development both inside and outside of school. It also allows for a consideration of MDI data with other publicly available, neighbourhood-level demographic data on income, ethnicity, language, and distribution of services. These reports are available for download on the HELP website.

There is a lot of information contained in these reports. But there’s no need to digest it all immediately – remember, making sense of your data is a journey. Here’s how we recommend wading in for the first (or second, or third) time.

Approach the Data with Curiosity

Given the volume of data we report and the multiple factors influencing childhood well-being, it will be challenging to absorb it all at once.

For your first pass, we’d recommend approaching the report with curiosity – what pieces stand out to you? Is anything surprising? Resist jumping to conclusions, seeking explanations or designing action. Review the data and note your observations. We’ve created a worksheet to help guide people through this initial exploration.

Get acquainted with our data visualization

Neighbourhood Maps
Neighbourhoods have unique characteristics that provide important context for interpreting MDI results.
Understanding neighbourhood-level differences within a school district or community is important when considering actions to support children’s well-being.

Note: for neighbourhood profiles and maps, student data is mapped according to their home postal code, which may not correspond to the location of their school.

Your Community Map details district and neighbourhood boundaries. MDI neighbourhood boundaries have typically been drawn to align, where possible, with municipal planning areas and to coincide with census and taxfiler data. In most cases, boundaries are also set to neighbourhoods with a minimum number of 50 children.*

The Well-Being Index map represents the percentage of children in each neighbourhood across the district who are Thriving – reporting high scores on at least 4 of the 5 measures of well-being.
The darker the colour, the greater percentage of students in the neighbourhood considered Thriving.

The Assets Index maps show the percentage of children reporting the presence of each of four assets of the Assets Index: Adult Relationships, Peer Relationships, Nutrition and
Sleep, and After-School Activities.
Similarly, the darker the color, the greater the percentage of students reporting the presence of a given asset.

* These considerations reduce the number of neighbourhoods where data are suppressed due to low numbers of children, and at the same time ensure the accuracy and precision of MDI data.

Bar Graphs
These graphs show two things: First, they let you see the relative difference in high, medium and low well-being among students across dimensions. These bar graphs illustrate what’s already working in your school or community, or areas where your kids may need some extra support.

Second, the average for students across participating districts reporting high, medium, or low well-being on each dimension is illustrated by a vertical line overlaid on each bar. These bars show how your MDI results are similar or different from this average.

In the same boat

Many communities are experiencing similar challenges related to the well-being of their kids in the middle years — some of these may be due to systemic challenges facing communities equally across the province and nationally; others may be due to developmental changes we know occur during the middle years, where we expect to see more children fall into the low well-being zone.

We know improvements can be made across the spectrum of children’s well-being, even when systemic or developmental-stage obstacles present themselves. But these averages do illustrate that you aren’t alone in facing them.

The MDI reports provide a snapshot of middle-years well-being in your community, at a particular moment in time. You’ll learn from children themselves about how they spend their time, how they feel about themselves and their environments, how they sleep and eat, all of which can inform plans and initiatives at the school, district, and community level.

Your report can’t tell you why kids responded the way they did, nor does it offer a specific prescription or course of action. The data can and should serve as a baseline to inform your decisions and your work, and an invitation to dig deeper and learn more.

The data will help you ask better questions. The answers will be found when you look to local knowledge and wisdom. This includes integrating complementary data, community expertise, and even going back to the children who provided the initial responses.

We’ll explore ways to decide how to move forward with your data as part of the Making Change journey, and invite you to Connect and share what’s working in your school or community.

Your MDI data provides valuable information, but it doesn’t provide all the answers.