Schools to participate in youth risk behavior survey

Staff report

Starting next week, the Delaware General Health District along with the Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services Board and Drug-Free Delaware will be collecting behavioral health data from all four public school districts in Delaware County in an effort to capture what risks youth are facing.

Only students in grades 6-12 will be surveyed. Students will not be identified and will answer questions anonymously. The survey will be administered electronically with high school students answering 90 questions and middle school students answering 69 questions.

Approximately 80 percent of the questions are derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and the remaining 20 percent stem from the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio.

Survey questions, according to a news release, concentrate on six key areas: violence and injuries, nutrition and physical activities, tobacco, alcohol, other drugs and sexual activity. The key area of sexual activity will only be asked in grades 9-12.

Data collection in each district will be completed by the end of December. All data is being housed by the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, who in turn will create an aggregate county-wide report that outlines the results. This report will be completed by the end of the school year and will be shared with all the school districts and community stakeholders.

“Several community agencies base their grant funding and programming on this behavioral survey and use it as a tool to measure the health of our community, which in turn helps in the creation of the community health improvement plan,” Health Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson said. “The health district shares our appreciation with the participating school districts and for their role in administering this valuable data survey.”

Each school district has sent notices home to parents requesting permission to allow their student(s) to participate in the survey. Each building has a copy of the survey if parents would like to review the questions. Parents can come to their student’s respective building to view the survey.

For information on this survey tool, visit key word YRBS.

Staff report