Your child’s school will soon offer the Ohio Healthy Youth Environments Survey, or OHYES!. This letter answers some basic questions about the survey’s purpose, content, and administration.
What is the purpose of the survey?
Our school district is committed to offering every student the best chance for success. That may include support services for students facing depression, anxiety, bullying, or other challenges. To meet students’ needs, we must first understand what challenges they face.
The survey is designed for children age 12 and above. We are asking students in grades 7 through 12 to participate.
What does the survey ask?
The survey will ask your child about:
· Feelings about their school and community
· Personal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and their perception of risks
· Mental health, suicide, and access to health care
· Family and personal relationships, and demographics
· Health-related behaviors such as sleep, nutrition, and exercise
How long will the survey take?
The survey takes about 15-20 minutes. The survey can be viewed at the school's office, or online at (http://ohyes.ohio.gov/Downloads) – 110 item version.
Who developed the survey?
The survey was developed by the Ohio Departments of Education, Health, and Mental Health and Addiction Services.
Does my child have to participate?
No, that is a choice for you and your child. But we value your child’s participation, which can help us make sure all students’ needs are met.
How do you protect my child’s privacy?
The OHYES! will be confidentially administered by trained school staff. Schools have been instructed on how to protect student anonymity and confidentiality. Please review these instructions at http://ohyes.ohio.gov/Schools/Preparation/Confidentiality.
Who will know what my child shares?
No one. The survey is anonymous, so students are NOT asked for their name, identification number or date of birth. Student responses will be combined and reported together. There are also minimum reporting requirements of 15 or more respondents.
Data is sent directly to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. No data is stored on school computers, and the school does not have access to any individual survey data.
Will participating upset or influence my child?
Many people like sharing their experiences and opinions. If questions do make a student feel anxious, he or she may skip any questions or stop the survey at any time. There is a back, next, and quit button on each screen. There is no penalty for not taking the survey or for stopping.
There is also no research indicating any connection between completing a health behavior survey and trying an unhealthy behavior. You may be reassured to know that many unhealthy behaviors among young people – including tobacco use, sexual behaviors, and some forms of violence – have declined since 1991. During that same period, youth surveys have increased nationwide.
How does my family and community benefit?
OHYES! results will help guide communities in creating and improving youth health programs in Ohio. The results will be shared with everyone, including families, faculty and students, and the public. State-level and county-level results will be available to the public at http://ohyes.ohio.gov/Results. District and school results will only be available to Superintendents and Principals with secured access.
Do I have to sign a form for my child to participate?
Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) require parent or guardian permission for research involving children. To protect you and your child, we require parent notification and provide parents the ability to opt out. This method is commonly known as passive consent, and minimizes administrative burden on schools, maintains student confidentiality, and increases response rates. We hope you will give consent for your child to participate. If so, there is no need to do anything. If you do NOT want your child to participate in this survey, please sign form below. A separate form is needed for each child you do NOT want to participate.
MIDDLE SCHOOL OPT-OUT FORM
Who can I contact if I have questions? Visit the website at www.ohyes.ohio.gov or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the OHYES! Team at 1-866-563-6904.