2022-2023 Student Wellness Survey - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Student Wellness Survey?

The New Brunswick Student Wellness Survey is a joint initiative of the New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) and the Government of New Brunswick’s Department of Health and Department of Education & Early Childhood Development.

The New Brunswick Student Wellness Survey is conducted in all public schools across New Brunswick. It aims to evaluate several aspects of students’ wellness, including their social and emotional development, physical health, substance use, and experiences at school and in the community. Each cycle, over 50,000 students in grades 4 to 12 and over 22,000 parents of students in kindergarten to grade 5 respond to the Survey.

What is the purpose of this survey?

This survey aims to understand and report on several aspects of students’ education and wellness. This information is used by stakeholders to identify gaps and challenges and make informed decisions.

Students in grades 4 to 12 are asked about their experience at school and in the community, their social and emotional development, and their physical health. Students in grades 7 to 12 are also asked about substance use.

Parents of children in grades K to 5 are also asked about their child’s social and emotional development, and physical health.

When will this survey take place?

The survey will be conducted in the fall. Individual schools are responsible for identifying a specific date to administer the survey to their students. 

When will the survey results be available?

All provincial results will be available on the NBHC website in the following spring. School results will also be distributed to school administrators in the spring. 

Is it mandatory to administer the survey in schools?

It is mandatory for all schools to administer the survey to their students in grades 4-12 and to distribute survey information to parents of students in grades K-5.

Is it mandatory for students or parents to participate?

This survey is voluntary for students and parents. Students (or their parent) have the right to refuse to participate, as well as the right to refuse to answer specific questions in the survey.

If the student does not wish to complete the survey, they can tell the survey coordinator (if their name was provided) or the school administrator that they do not wish to participate and ask that their teacher assign other work instead. If parents do not wish that their child complete the survey, they can tell the survey coordinator (if their name was provided) or the school administrator that they do not wish for their child to participate and ask that their teacher assign other work instead.

How do students access the survey?

The survey is accessed via an online platform. Links are distributed in the classrooms.

How can parents (K-5) access the survey?

Parent handouts are prepared and sent to each school. One handout is distributed per student to bring home to their parent.  On the handout is a link to the survey, and a survey code, which is required to respond to the survey. 

If parents have more than one child in grades K to 5, should they fill a survey for each?

We ask that parents fill a unique survey for each child, since the reality of each child is unique.

How does the NBHC protect my personal information?

All information collected through this survey is anonymous and confidential.  Individual answers are combined with others for public reporting. No names are associated with the surveys. Instead, randomly selected codes are provided to students, and all results are grouped together. The survey adheres to the privacy laws of New Brunswick under the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act (PHIPAA - www.gnb.ca/0051/acts). No school personnel will know how individual participants responded. Students and parents have the option to skip any question on the survey if they are not comfortable answering it.

Can I see past results?

Past results at the provincial level can be accessed from the NBHC website (www.nbhc.ca). For school level past results, you may contact your school administrator. Requests for previous EECD Student Survey reports can also be made through your school administrator.

How will the data collected be used?

Schools, districts, and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will be using the results of this survey for their respective planning processes with the aim of improving the educational experience, learning, and student wellness in the province. 

Public Health will be using the results from this survey to monitor the wellness of children and youth, and to support the efforts of the NB Wellness Strategy. 

The NBHC will be using provincial, zone- and community-level results of this survey to inform New Brunswickers about the wellness of our young population and to support local wellness initiatives. 

Various initiatives and programs have been developed leveraging the data from the Student Wellness Survey by different organizations. Examples include: community or school gardens, breakfast programs, physical activity initiatives, anti-tobacco programs, etc.

Are there translated versions of the survey in languages other than French or English?

The survey is currently only available in the two official languages of New Brunswick: English and French.

Why do you ask socio-demographic questions such as gender, sex at birth, sexual identity and race?

Some of our personal characteristics can be related to experiences of discrimination or to health disparities. For that reason, the NBHC collects and analyzes data by different demographic characteristics. This aggregate data enables organizations and groups of interest to identify areas of improvement based on gaps in the experiences and outcomes for various groups.


Sex at birth, gender identity, and sexual identity: Sex at birth, gender identity, and sexual identity are distinct concepts, but can be interrelated.

  • Sex at birth refers to sex assigned at birth. It is typically assigned based on a person's reproductive system and other physical characteristics. 
  • Gender identity is the way that a person feels internally or individually. Gender can be masculine or feminine, neither, both or any other identity on the gender spectrum. It may be different from sex at birth or the same.
  • Sexual identity refers to how a person perceives their sexuality (e.g., lesbian, straight, bisexual, etc.).


Race: We know that race is a social construct that has limited relation to genetic characteristics. Nevertheless, there are individuals and groups that have historically been, and continue to be, racialized. These groups may experience inequities or disparities in health and well-being as a result of their experiences of racialization. 

We leveraged the standard approach recommended by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) for collecting health systems information about racialized communities, which were developed based on a detailed review of the available literature as well as engagement with researchers, clinicians, organizations that represent racialized communities, and the federal, provincial and territorial governments. Answers to the questions about race will be used to better understand the experiences of students of different backgrounds. It is imperative to measure and to report this information to address inequities.

Why do you ask about weight and eating behaviours?

Healthy eating is important for the healthy development of children and youth, and to reduce the risk of obesity and chronic health conditions later in life. Where and when children and youth eat, or not, can have a great influence on their body weight and other related physical and mental health outcomes. Food insecurity can also influence eating habits.

Understanding eating habits, the factors that affect eating habits, and the prevalence of obesity enables schools, communities, and organizations to understand the nutritional needs of their students and develop programs that respond to their specific needs like breakfast programs, school gardening initiatives, etc.

Whom do I contact if I have any questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or would like to have more information about this Survey or its results, please call the toll-free number 1-877-225-2521 or send us an email at info@nbhc.ca.