In early 2022, School District 69 (Qualicum) kindergarten teachers will perform an Early Development Instrument (EDI) questionnaire on their students.
During a late November SD69 school board meeting, associate superintendent Gill Wilson said kindergarten teachers will complete the individual questionnaires to measure each child’s ability to meet age appropriate development expectations in several general domains.
“It looks for areas of vulnerability in early learners and then it looks, as a community, in terms of where some of the gaps are and where some of the strengths that we have are,” said Wilson.
Developed by Dr. Dan Offord and Dr. Magdalena Janus at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University, the EDI is provincially facilitated through the University of British Columbia and consists of 103 questions to determine a child’s social and emotional development, health and well-being, language and cognitive development and communications skills.
Per UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership website, the EDI is a population-level research tool in which the results are not to be used to evaluate individual children, rank teachers, neighbourhoods, schools or school districts in any way. It is a study to determine whether community based initiatives can reduce vulnerabilities, as identified by the EDI, prior to school entry.
According to an interactive map on the website, the last wave in SD69, for the years of 2017-19, determined a 31 per cent vulnerability in one or more areas of 551 students. That result showed the second lowest percentage on Vancouver Island, following School District 62 (Sooke) at 27 per cent of 838 students.
The collected data is used by the ministries of children and family development, education and health to plan early childhood investment, policy and program development. The data will also allow local groups to better advocate for changes to policies and funding.