Letter: Taking the pulse of our youth throughout the valley
Mountain Youth will administer the biennial Healthy Kids Colorado Survey this fall. Almost every middle and high school student will take this important survey about student health and behavior. The survey will ask students about health topics including exercise, diet, alcohol, tobacco, drug use, mental health, suicide, bullying, health care and sexual behaviors (high school only). The survey also asks students about school life, school safety, trusted adult relationships, and other factors known to be connected with healthy choices. It takes a pulse on young people’s behaviors, attitudes and perceptions. This will be Mountain Youth’s seventh administration in 11 years in Eagle County, the only county in the state where every school participates.
Students do not have to take this survey, which is optional and anonymous. It takes one class period to complete. The survey process will protect the privacy of students. No information is collected that can identify a student. Only your child will know how they answer. Students do not get school credit for taking the survey, and there is no penalty for not taking the survey. Students who take the survey may choose not to answer any question.
Aggregate level data is released — no unique student or school is ever identified. Mountain Youth works with 14 public, private and parochial schools in our community to schedule, prepare, proctor with a team of 40+ staff and volunteers, and coordinate local analysis to keep the community informed of strengths, needs and trends. These results help state health agencies, your school and community groups plan programs and services for youth — local nonprofits rely on this information to receive $2 million in grant funding annually. To get the most accurate information about youth health, we would like all students to take the survey.
This survey was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colorado Departments of Education, Human Services and Public Health and Environment. These groups provide funding to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to conduct the survey in schools. This project has been approved by our school district and the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board, and is coordinated locally by Mountain Youth.
We encourage you to discuss the topic with your child and share your views on their choice to participate. For more information about the study and to view a copy of the survey, please visit http://www.healthykidscolo.org.
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Mountain Youth is also asking parents to take a 10-minute anonymous survey that helps drive programs and our efforts. Mountain Youth will make a financial contribution to your child’s school PTA. Parents can take the survey by visiting http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MountainYouthParentSurvey2019.