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    Healthy Youth Survey
    Posted on 09/25/2018
    Washington State Youth Health Survey

    Information for Parents & Students

    Our school will participate in the Healthy Youth Survey during this Fall. The survey asks questions about risks for injury, health outcomes, and alcohol and drug use. Schools, and state and local agencies use survey results to support our youth and reduce their risks. The Healthy Youth Survey is voluntary and anonymous and provides important information to guide policy and programs that serve our youth.

    Please share this information with your student.
    Then talk about the survey and decide if your student will participate.

    Q: Who will be asked to take the survey?

    A: Students in Grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 across Washington State and students in Grades 7, 9 and 11 in small school districts.

    Q: Is the survey voluntary?

    A: Yes! Students taking the survey can skip questions and stop taking the survey at any time. If you do not want your student to participate in the survey, you can call the school to excuse your student. Students can also tell their teacher that they do not want to take the survey. Students not taking the survey will take part in a different activity, such as studying or reading in the library. There is no penalty for not taking part in the survey. Your student’s grades will not be affected.

    Q: What questions are on the survey?

    A: Survey questions come from surveys across the nation and in Washington. Parents or guardians can see a copy of the survey questions in the school office.

    Question topics include:

    • Information, such as age, gender, and race or ethnicity.
    • Feelings about school and community.
    • Relationships with parents, friends, and neighbors.
    • Eating habits, physical activity.
    • Health education.
    • Attitudes about and the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.
    • Behaviors and feelings related to safety.
    • Behaviors related to violence
    • Sexual behavior, orientation, identity, and abuse (not for Grades 6 or 7).

    Q: How is student identity protected?

    A: Students will not write their names on the survey. There are no codes or information to match a survey to a student. No one from the school will look at their answers. Students will put completed surveys into a sealed envelope before it leaves the classroom. Survey results will not identify any student.

    Q: How are the survey results used?

    A: Schools, school districts, counties and state agencies use the results to understand our students and to provide them with the services they need. Results are used for planning, evaluating, improving programs, and getting the money to support them. Data sets are also shared with local health departments and approved researchers.

    Need More Information?

    If you have any questions about the purpose of the survey or survey procedures:

    Information about the Healthy Youth Survey can be found at: http://www.askhys.net/

    The Washington State Institutional Review Board has approved the procedures for the Healthy Youth Survey that are described in this letter. If you believe these procedures have not been followed, please call 1-800-583-8488. You do not have to leave your name. All messages will be returned.

    Students have been taking the Healthy Youth Survey since 1988. The number of students has grown from only a few thousand students to over 200,000 in 2016.

    Thank you for reviewing this information and talking with your student!

    The Healthy Youth Survey is sponsored by the following state agencies: Department of Social and Health Services, Department of Health, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Liquor and Cannabis Board.