Students to Take California Healthy Kids Survey Tuesday

Story by Erin Maxwell, Staff Writer

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SDA students will take the California Healthy Kids Survey during second period on Tuesday, Feb. 7. There will be a revised bell schedule that lengthens second period to give 76 minutes for the survey.

The anonymous survey, proctored by UCSD, will ask students about their alcohol and drug usage, their exposure to violence and bullying, their emotions, and their behavior and situation at school. The survey is meant to give faculty an idea of what current adolescents at SDA are doing and experiencing, so that programs that address the needs of the students can be formed.

SDA Assistant Principal Brieahna Weatherford said, for example, that when SDA faculty was forming the Single Plan for Student Achievement this year, “data from the 2015 survey drove a lot of those goals: focus on student achievement, graduation rates, reclassification for English Language Students.”

At SDA, the big focus is campus connectedness, and the survey data provides information about what programs could help foster this, as well as “helps validate a lot of those programs and events that we run…on campus,” such as Community Day, Pals, and Exhibition Day, she said.

The data about drug and alcohol use is also helpful to the school because it helps improve campus safety. By comparing trends from various years, faculty are able to determine whether they should institute specific programs, and what those programs should be – such as Red Ribbon week, guest speakers on drug usage, etc.
Students, or more accurately their parents, are given the option to opt out of the survey if they choose, but at SDA the participation rate is very good; the total amount of students who have opted out this year is about the same as in your average classroom.

When asked why she thinks students should be aware of the survey’s importance, Weatherford said, “I think it’s important that students know that [the survey is important] because it helps us keep the amazing culture” at SDA.

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