Transcript: Beyond LCAP Compliance: Disaggregating Your California Healthy Kids Survey Data to Improve School Climate
On behalf of the California Center for School Climate and the California School Climate Health Learning Surveys, welcome to the webinar on Beyond LCAP Compliance: Disaggregating Your California Healthy Kids Survey Data to Improve School Climate. My name is Nisha Bala and I’m a program associate with the Ca Center for School Climate. I will be our moderator for today’s session. Our topic today is focused on approaches to disaggregate the California Healthy Kids Survey Data. Often, we might get our survey results and we need to identify ways to better understand our results, to interpret them, and translate these data to support the local context. Today we hope to provide you with our examples to support your school climate data use practices.
We’re going to start with a Zoom poll. We want to get a sense of which of these pictures representing your feelings when it comes to your local school climate data. How do you feel about the CHKS (California Healthy Kids Survey)? How do you feel about data results? So your options over here are A, someone who’s happy and excited; B, we have this little boy staring off into the corner. We see if it’s sort of pensive; C, we have a picture of someone shrugging with a ton of data around them and a question mark over their head saying that indicating that they don’t know a lot about data; and D, it’s a child who’s surprised, staring at the screen with wide eyes and open mouth. And I’m seeing a bunch of answers coming in. Let’s take a couple of seconds to select a response. Let us know how you’re doing, how you’re feeling about school climate survey data, CHKS, thinking through these data results.
Okay, most people feel pensive or that they don’t know, that’s a total of 80 percent of people who are on this webinar, and that is what we’re here to talk about. 15 percent or… some of you said that you’re excited and a couple you said that you were surprised, that’s exciting. We do have our clear winners, which isn’t surprising. Many of us do feel pensive or we do feel shrugging or we don’t know about school climate data. Thank you everyone for participating in this poll.
Let us go over our webinar agenda. We can go to the next slide. Excellent. So we’re going to be providing an overview of school climate to start with. Then we’re going to be moving into talking about interpretation. What do your CHKS results actually mean? And then we are going to follow that by translation, translating those findings to support your community’s needs. We will have some time for question and answers like we said. After that, we invite you to put your questions in the question Q&A feature at the bottom of your Zoom toolbar, and then we’ll share some upcoming opportunities.
Slides and resources mentioned in today’s webinars are also included on our Linktree that’s been shared in our chat. Now I’d like to introduce our speaker. Onto the next slide. So our presenter today is Leslie Poynor, Leslie is a program associate at WestEd and served as the Cal School State Coordinator. She presents technical assistance on administering and using Cal School surveys in data driven decision making, including in the California Healthy Kids Survey. With that, I would like to pass it to Leslie.
Good morning, everyone. Is it still morning? I guess technically it’s afternoon. Thank you for inviting me, and I’m going to just get started with the school climate domains. And one of the things that I want to share with you is that the California Center for School Climate (CCSC) has done a lot of work and is doing a lot of work in the field of school climate. And there are three domains that we think about – belonging and connectedness, environment, safety and wellness – and in each one of those areas we look at what’s going on for the students in things such as student agency and relationships — that’s in the belonging and connections. We look at the environment particularly how included do students feel around diversity, equity and inclusion, the instructional environment, the physical environment — what’s the physical plant like? — and what kind of behavioral supports are there. And then safety and wellness.
One of the things that I used to say a lot when we first started working in school climate is that when you walk onto the campus, you get an immediate visceral feeling of what the school climate is like, and that’s the environment. And then as you walk down the hallway and you see how the students and the staff interact with each other, that gives you a sense of the belonging and connectedness. So you step foot on campus and you get a visceral feeling about school climate. You walk down the hallway and you see how people are relating to each other, and that gives you another sense of school climate. And then when you look at the overall environment, the overall relationships — how are students and staff being supported in school safety and wellness as, particularly, mental health is something that we’re concerned with after coming out of the pandemic.
So the other thing that I want to point out is that in the state of California, we have the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Priority 6 of the Local Control Funding Formula is school climate. It’s a local indicator of school climate that you report on your LCAP, your Local Control Accountability Plan. The state indicator for school climate is the school suspension rate, so whatever is happening with the school suspension that you report, that everybody is required to report that. And then the local indicator is an assessment via a local school climate survey to provide information on students’ safety and school connectedness. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today because with the California Healthy Kids Survey, which is the student survey of the suite of surveys of California School Climate Health and Learning Survey System (CalSCHLS) — because we have a student survey which is the Healthy Kids, a staff survey, which is the school staff, and a parent guardian survey, which is the school parent and guardian survey — today we’re focusing on the school student safety school connectedness from the perspective of the students.
So one of the things that measuring school climate needs to be is we need data that tells us about what’s working well, what are the strengths of school climate., what are the strengths of school connectedness, what are the strengths around school safety. And one of the things we’re also going to look at is caring relationships. And then we need to look at the opportunities for growth. Where can we improve school climate and how do we do that, and how do we know what we need to improve? And then the next thing is we need to set some goals and we need to monitor our progress. So that’s what it looks like when we say how do you measure school climate? We identify where things are working well, we identify areas for growth, we set our goals, and then we monitor our progress. And so in the next few slides, we’re going to talk about the process of strengthening school climate. So how do you actually identify strengths and areas of growth, and what is the role of disaggregating your data? And then once you’ve done that interpretation of your school climate data, then how do you translate that into something that you can actually take action on and monitor?
So let’s get right into interpretation. What do your California Healthy Kids results actually mean? How do you identify strengths and growth opportunities and where do you find out groups of students that may might need support? So let’s look at that. The first thing I want to tell you is where can you find your California Healthy Kids data. If your district administers the survey, you will get a PDF report, which is available on our website. You can also go to the California Public Dashboard, and if your district has paid for a subscription to the Private Dashboard, then you can see your data here.
Now I just want to tell you something really exciting about the Private Dashboard. One of the things that is really wonderful about the Private Dashboard is that if your district is taking the survey this spring, so right now you’re taking the survey, you can see your data coming in real time. So your kids, let’s say, are taking the survey right now and you want to see how it’s going, you can go on the Private Dashboard and see the data so far. That’s something that is relatively new for the Healthy Kids Survey. And we are so delighted that the California Department of Education (CDE) who owns the survey has provided this resource to our districts. The other thing I want to tell you is that the California Healthy Kids Survey data is intimately linked to the California Department of Education, in part because the CDE owns the survey. But also, our data analysts really want to make certain that the data that you get from this survey is actually telling you what we say it’s telling you. And we have so many measures to make sure that the data is clean, and by that I mean that we don’t have mischievous responses. Years and years ago when we had responses from students on Scantrons, we could tell by looking if the responses were mischievous because maybe they would bubble in a picture of let’s say a Christmas tree or sometimes other unmentionable items that we won’t go into. Sometimes we would see a pattern ABC, ABC, ABC, ABC. Well, our data analysts have the capacity to look at data that comes in on our online system to see if there are any mischievous responses similar to that.
And we also look very closely at the CDE enrollment numbers. So if in a class, let’s say at the school level, fifth grade says you have 50 kids in that grade level, but you’ve got 75 responses, well, there’s a problem there because you only have 50 kids enrolled. So the first thing we do is we check the actual enrollment numbers with the CDE, and if it is actually 50, then our regional TA staff goes right back to the district and says, “Hey, we see this discrepancy. Can you tell us what’s going on here?” Maybe there was a sudden enrollment, maybe they started the survey on one day but didn’t finish, and they had to start everybody all over. The point is, we really work to make sure that the data are representing what we think it’s representing.
So well, what if you want to know whether or not you’ve got a California Healthy Kids Survey, any of these reports? I’m going to back up one slide so you can see all of these reports. The Public Dashboard, the Private Dashboard — what if you want to know if your district has participated or when they participated? The best way to find out is contact us, and I’m sure this is being dropped in the chat as we speak, but you can just send us an email at [email protected] and any one of our technical advisors will take a look at your district and say, “Oh yeah, you participated this year. Oh, you didn’t participate last year.” And they can direct you who to contact if you want more information at your district. So that’s just a little background.
Now, let’s get into the actual data. When you look at this data and you see it on here and you see school connectedness and you’re looking at seventh, ninth, 11th, and you’re looking at 62 percent, 60 percent, 55, and 51 percent, is that good? Is that bad? What does that actually mean? And if you look down at school being perceived as safe or very safe, again, 54 percent of ninth graders say school is safe or very safe. Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing? How do we know? The other thing that we’re going to look at is caring adult relationships. Good thing, bad thing? This is an excerpt right from the California Healthy Kids PDF report.
Now, let’s go to the next thing. How do you interpret those numbers? So let me back up one second and just say, let’s just look at this, it’s roughly between 50 and 60 percent say they feel connected to school. Roughly around 60, 65 percent say they have caring relationships with adults at school and roughly between 50 and 60 percent… so we’re looking at right around, let’s just make it easy and say right around 60 percent. Well, what are we looking for then when we say if this is good, if this is bad, if this is positive, this is negative, this is a strength, that this is an opportunity for growth. And the way we really like to encourage folks to look at this is to think about it from a multi-tiered system of support. And so, as you know, if our supports are really strong, then for 80 percent of our kids, that is all they’re ever going to need. And then we know we have 15 percent that might need additional targeted supports and 5 percent that need intensive supports. So let’s look at that. If at least 80 percent of students report having a caring relationship with one adult at school and/or they feel connected to school and/or they perceive school as safe or very safe, then we know our universal supports are robust, strong, and effective. We know that all the systems that we have in place that support our kids are robust, strong, and effective. And that then leads us to focus time and resources on the targeted and intensive supports for risk behaviors.
So, you see on this slide a QR code for the CalSCHLS dashboard (https://calschls.org/reports-data/public-dashboards/) — and this is data coming directly from our Cal Schools dashboard, our most recent statewide data that’s available publicly is from the 2017 through 2019 school year. And this is just an example of grade seven from that statewide data. And you can see 61 percent of seventh graders said that it was very much true or pretty much true that they had an one adult at school that really cared about them, that listened to them when they had something to say and notice when they’re not there. If we think about that multi-tier system of support pyramid and we’re looking for universal supports that reach 80 percent, that’s what this green line represents.
So when you look at 61 percent of seventh graders saying that it’s very much true or pretty much true, that they have an adult who cares about them, listens to them, and notice this when they’re not there, you can see that there is room for growth here to reach that 80 percent mark. All right, let’s take a look at then, what’s that 20 percent from 60 to 80 percent? Which group is that that maybe needs the exercise? Is it all students or is it students from a particular race or ethnicity? Is it students with particular living situations? One of the nice things about the Public and Private Dashboard is that you can disaggregate this data according to student characteristics.
So looking at that, let’s look at caring adult relationships for seventh grade from the statewide data, disaggregated by race and ethnicity. And you can see that African American students, 61 percent said it’s very much true or pretty much true. American Indian and Asian students, 64 percent. Latino, Latina, Latinx students, 58 percent. Pacific Islander, 63. White, 60 and mixed race students, 60 percent. So when we put up the 80 percent mark, it gives you an idea of where you might want to start. And if this were not statewide data and it were actually schoolwide data, not even districtwide, this was your particular school, then the group I would want to talk to first and go deeper and find out what is the connection between Latino, Latina, Latinx students and adults at school, because that’s where your biggest opportunity for growth is.
So then let’s go to the next one, perceived safety at school. Now this time we’re looking at seventh and ninth grade statewide data, and when we pop up that 80 percent mark, you can see that if… Let’s say you’re a unified district and you look at this and you’re like, “Well, there’s opportunity for growth in both seventh grade and ninth grade, but I think I want to focus my time on ninth grade cause only 55 percent of ninth graders feel safe at school. So that means we need to do some systemic changes in our ninth grade to help those students feel safe at school.” And then let’s take a look at school connectedness. Again, we’re looking at seventh and ninth, and it’s 62 percent feel connected to school and 57 percent of ninth grade feel connected to school. And when we’ve popped the 80 percent mark, we can see how close we are. So if these two slides had been about a particular district, I would say, “Okay, while there is room for growth in seventh grade, I think if I need to figure out where I’m going to start, I’d start with ninth grade because I see some gaps there.”
Now, one of the things that is so exciting about the dashboard, the Public Dashboard, is that we can actually look at the same data disaggregated by students who say they have an adult who really cares about them, listens to them when they have something to say, and notices when they’re not there. And in seventh grade when a student says they have an adult who cares about them, listens to them, and notices when they’re not there, 73 percent say they feel safe or very safe at school. Let’s put that green bar up. You get so close to having students say they feel safe at school if they also say they have an adult who cares about them. Kids who don’t say that they have an adult who cares about them, if they say that it’s not pretty much true, then if they say it’s a little true or not at all true, only 42 percent of those kids feel safe at school in seventh grade. In ninth grade, it’s 38 percent and ninth grade, 68 percent of kids feel safe or very safe at school if they’re also having a caring adult relationship. So when you’re thinking about the next steps you want to take, you might want to look at do kids feel connected to one adult at school. Do they have one adult that they believe? And this isn’t to say, I really want to back up and say this… I believe that all adults, 99.9 percent of adults that work in schools, really do care about kids. Tat’s why they do what they do. That’s why we do what we do because we care about kids. I’m really talking about student perceptions of caring. I think, I don’t just think I know, as adults we forget that kids don’t necessarily know how to read our behaviors and our responses and our actions as caring. They really need us to say explicitly, “I care about you.” And that’s borne out by the research, that’s borne out in our focus groups, that’s borne out in conversations with students. So it’s both research-based and anecdotally-based. So perceptions of caring adults, when students perceive one adult really cares about them, listens to them, and notices when they’re not there, they’re more likely to feel safe at school, twice as likely to feel safe at school.
And guess what? When students say they have one adult who really cares about them, they are more likely, not quite twice as likely, but more likely to say they feel connected to school. So if you really want to take action on your indicators of a positive school climate, and you really want to see more kids saying they feel safe at school, and more kids saying that they feel connected to school, then what you might want to do is look at what percentage of kids say they have caring adult relationships and work to strengthen that, first with the idea that relationships and students perceptions of caring relationships are critical and foundational to everything else.
Okay, oh, well and good. Yes, we need to have caring relationships and we need to have school safety, and we need to have school connectedness. But how do I do that? How do I turn these results into some action that I can support my community’s needs? Well, I want to give you an example. So what you are looking at here is a screenshot from the California School Dashboard, which is where you put in your LCAP indicators. This is from San Diego Unified, and this is where they talk about their local climate survey. And I know that’s too small to read, so here’s what it says essentially. The local climate survey, which is the California Healthy Kids Survey, was administered at the secondary level every other year. But then in 2016, the San Diego Unified decided to administer it to grade five as well as secondary and administer it annually so that they can monitor their progress towards school safety, school connectedness. And then for their LCAP, what they reported on the slide that you saw previously, and if you go right now to the California School dashboard, you can see that this is what they reported most recently: 79 percent of kids in fifth grade feel safe or very safe at school and 76 percent of kids report feeling connected to school. So if you are at San Diego Unified, you can look at these areas for school safety and school connectedness and see where you might want to grow. And then if you go to your dashboard, you could disaggregate school safety by kids who perceive a caring adult relationship versus kids who do not perceive having a caring adult relationship. Same thing for school connectedness. And you can see whether or not developing caring relationships at school is an area or avenue for growth.
So one of the things that happened in San Diego Unified was at Horace Mann Middle School — and this is a resource that will be available on our Linktree with all of our resources — and this is actually an audio cast, so you can see that when you go to our website, to the link, you can actually listen to this. But I wanted to highlight a couple of things. This middle school actually engaged in the school climate improvement process by doing exactly what we talked about at the beginning, identifying their needs, then bringing in some partners, and using a team-based approach. Then they had a student survey that measured school connectedness and whether or not they had a trusted adult on campus. And what they found is that students weren’t feeling connected in person. So this happened after the pandemic and everybody’s back in person, and they weren’t feeling as connected to school in person. And so the staff realized from looking at this data, they needed to slow way down and go back to focusing on relationships. And so the staff led collaborative climate teams and they created a vision for what a safe and supportive learning environment would look like. And the vision came to life when the school leaders would facilitate the collaboration, listen to the members of the team, the community, and to use the data to continuously inform their efforts. And so what’s really nice about San Diego Unified is they give the survey every single year, so they really could continuously look at the data to see how they were doing, where they were growing, where they still needed to grow.
So, one of the things that you want to think about when you’re thinking about a data-informed practice isn’t just like, “Oh no, we have only 50 percent of our kids saying they feel connected to school.” We actually want to know not just that that’s what they’re saying, but we want to know why. How are they not feeling connected to school? And that’s one of the things that the Mann Middle School example gives us is they were like, “Okay, what we’re seeing both from our lived experience and from the data is that kids aren’t feeling connected now that they’re back in person. Why is that? How do we collect more information on that? How do we understand why they don’t feel connected?” And then they created a plan with a collaborative team to investigate that. And part of that collaborative team was identifying who needed to be involved in collecting the data and looking at the data. And then they also developed a plan for ongoing inquiry cycles. So it’s not just a question of, oh, we get the data, we see the area of growth, we take an action, done. It’s a little bit more involved than that if you’re really going to transform your school climate.
So then, the other thing is just a few reminders. I know there were so many of you that had the responses of being apprehensive or nervous about working with data, but you know what? Anybody can work with data. Anybody can work with data. You can start with what you have. And for many of you, you might already have the California Health Kids Survey. Over 70 percent of the districts in the state participate in this survey. And once you have that, you can take a look at it, and that’s where you start. But here’s the other thing, data exists all around us. And you can engage students, families, staff, community members in collecting the data, understanding the data, reporting the data. It doesn’t have to be the hard numbers of there’s a control and an experimental group, and then you have to do some type of really sophisticated statistical analysis. No, that is one avenue of data. Another avenue of data is actually talking to your kids, talking to your students, and asking them, “Why do you think only 50 percent of kids in seventh grade feel safe at school?” You can collect data that way as well.
What we’re going to see in the Linktree are resources or activities that you can use to promote staff and student connection, especially around cultivating caring relationships at school. And then we have a lot of resources and activities that you can do in response to whether kids are feeling connected at school, whether kids are feeling safe at school. All of those resources are there to support you as long as you remember — and I’m going to back up one slide — that anyone can work with data and you can start where you are. And I’m going to back up one more slide… and remember that it’s not just the numbers that matters, it’s the why behind it, and there are multiple perspectives on that. So skipping back up again, it is time for questions. And so what I’m going to do is stop sharing my screen so that we can have those questions.
Thank you, Leslie. We really enjoy all of the insight that you bring to this data and how to approach it. We do have some questions from attendees as they’re coming in the chat. Please feel free to keep putting them. We have time for a few. This first one that I have for you comes from Marvin Baker, and it is, “Are the data reported by unduplicated student count, that is low income, foster youth, English learner, et cetera?”
That’s an excellent question, and I will confess, I’m not sure of the answer on that. It’s something I would have to investigate because I haven’t considered the Healthy Kids Survey data in that particular way. So if you don’t mind, what I’d like to do is investigate a little bit further and get back to you because I’m not exactly sure how that fits in with the unduplicated count.
Awesome, thank you, Leslie. Another question that we have is, “On the public CHKS dashboard, there are 13 student characteristics that you can explore CHKS data by, for example, race and ethnicity, English language proficiency, gender and gender identity. Is there an indicator on the CHKS identify students that are foster youth in general?”
So there is an indicator about foster youth, and that’s typically listed under our living situation. So where do students live? So if you disaggregate by the living situation, you’ll see at home with parents, at home with relatives, you’ll see also foster home, foster family. And so that’s how you can identify those.
Excellent. Thank you. Leslie, some people want to know, can you share information about how to request the raw data so that people can further explore the CHKS data?
Yes, I can. So one of the great things that happens with our data is that researchers across the state and researchers in districts and in counties request the raw data. And the way that works is send an email to [email protected] and say that you’re interested in the raw data, then our TA team will send you a raw data MOU and, depending on what your role is, there is a fee that is calculated by the California Department of Education. When you complete the MOU, you’re going to go into really good detail about what you plan to do with the raw data. And then when you do that, you then will send your MOU, which is also really more of an application to the California Department of Education. They will review it, and if they have more questions, we’ll come back to you with those questions. If they feel like, okay, this is an appropriate use of raw data, sign off on it, and then we begin the process for providing it to you and receiving payment for it.
Thank you. We also have a related question that Lisa just dropped in the chat which is, “How long does access to raw data take? How long the process would take?”
That’s another really great question. And oh, I also see that Lisa says, “I’m still waiting on mine.” Well, I’m sorry, you’re still waiting on yours. Here are some of the factors that go into producing the raw data. For example, many people have been requesting the raw data for the state, the statewide raw data, which is the 2019 to 2021 school years. And we have it, we are ready to press the button and send it to you, but it is still embargoed by the state, so we can’t. But as soon as we get the go ahead, we can send that. Now, if you’re talking about a district or a county, it really depends on the amount of time it takes to produce the raw data. It depends on when the district or the county finished administering the survey, how many years of raw data you are interested in. But once the MOU is approved, it takes about two weeks, sometimes a lot faster, sometimes a little bit longer, depending on what the situation is. So Lisa, I would say to you, if you’re still waiting on yours, please send an email to [email protected] and ask that question, and our TA team will get back to you about where you are in the process.
Leslie, I think you just also answered another question that some people have asked in the chat which is, “When will the 18th biennial data post be?” So let’s move to a non-data file related question for now. “Are there items that you would say correspond to the parent survey items and the staff survey items and the CHKS item?”
Oh, yes. That’s such a great question. Thank you so much for asking. Yes, yes, yes. There are several questions that go across all three surveys, and in fact, on our website, you can do a search for crosswalk and you will see a crosswalk that shows you the question items on each one of the surveys that correspond to each other. They’re not always exactly precisely the same, and that’s because they’re being asked to different age groups and different perspectives, but they give you an idea about what the whole community thinks. So for example, with caring adult relationships, we ask the students, “At my school, it’s pretty much true or very much true that one adult really cares about me, listens to me when I have something to say, notice this when I’m not there.” And then for the staff and the parents, we ask, “This school has teachers and staff that care about students.” So it’s a slightly different question, but it gives you an overall perspective of an overall understanding of the perspective of the participants in the community about what they think of caring relationships.
That’s great. Thank you. Thank you very much, Leslie. I know that you’ve been talking a lot about caring relationships, and I actually just wanted to personally ask you like, why caring relationships? Why is that the example that you choose and why do you think that that’s a good point, a good example to highlight for this?
Thank you, Nisha, for asking that question because this is so near and dear to my heart. First of all, we have decade’s worth of research that demonstrate that kids who have one adult who really care about them and that they perceive is really caring about them, the research has shown us that those kids are less likely to engage in risk behaviors. Even those risk behaviors that happen outside of school like smoking, drinking, vaping, marijuana use, we know that kids who have an adult who really cares about them, they’re more likely to attend school. And remember, school attendance is part of your LCAP reporting, where they’re more likely to say they feel safe at school, they’re more likely to say they feel connected to school, they’re more likely — this is a really good one — they’re more likely to say that they make A’s or B’S on their grades. And I’ve often said that doesn’t mean they actually make A’s or B’s. What it means is they perceive themselves capable of making A’s or B’s and they perceive themself as an A or B student. And even if that’s not the capital T truth, it indicates their growth mindset. So having one adult who really cares about you and knowing that there’s an adult that really cares about you is the foundation for everything else. And so I always start with that indicator, and that indicator is measured across student, staff, and parents.
And so that’s one of the reasons. Now I’m going to give you a couple of anecdotal reasons. Nel Noddings wrote that kids will do odd things, even including adding, dividing, and multiplying fractions, for an adult who really cares about them. So there you go. If you want your kids to love math, science, physics, reading, then they need to know that you care about them. Another saying that is often said is that kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And I know those are cliche and trite, but it is so true. The research for decades supports that. So that’s why I always do that. So thank you for asking, Nisha.
And thank you, Leslie. I feel like it’s important to hear a little bit, the color behind some of the examples we picked sometimes and how there’s like, it is genuinely a good pathway to consider. There’s a comment from Nina Williams that says, “I participated, but I could not find the results in my district. I don’t believe that they’re reported.” Could you go over some reasons that you might not be seeing results from your survey or your district on the dashboard?
Certainly, and that’s an excellent question, too. These are all such great questions. First of all, to be reported on the dashboard, you have to have at least 25 respondents in the grade level. And so therefore, if you don’t have 25 respondents, there won’t be data there, and that is to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of students. Also, all the data is self-reported. So when we’re talking about living situations such as living at home or living with a foster family, that is self-reported, same with self-reported of race and ethnicity. And if there are not enough students, 25, selecting that is their experience or that is their identity, then it will not be reported in the disaggregated data. So that’s some of the things, reasons why you might not see it on the Public Dashboard. The other reason might be is that the Public Dashboard is updated… has a lag time, and is updated about six to 12 months after the districts finish giving the survey. So, for example, if a district gave the survey in October of this year, their data would not show up on the Public Dashboard until December of next year, because what we want to do is make certain that the districts and schools have an opportunity to review their data before it is made public. So every December… every December we update the data from the previous school year. So for the school year of 22/23 that we’re in right now, that data will be updated in December of 2023. So that means if your district took the survey in October of 2022, you won’t see the data on the Public Dashboard until December of 2023. However, Private Dashboard, like I said, especially if you’re doing it right now in the spring, that data’s available in real time. So that might be why you don’t have it.
Nia has another question, which I think ties into some other stuff that we’ve been hearing. So could you talk to sort of what grade the CHKS Survey is for and I think it also would be interesting for some of the participants to talk about some of the differences that exist between the surveys that the younger students take and older students take?
Sure. Again, another great question. So the survey, as initially designed 20 years ago, was for grades seven, nine, eleven, and for students in any continuation schools, non-traditional schools, community day schools, juvenile court schools, et cetera. Later, fifth grade was added as one of the grades that you could give the survey in. Over time, and that survey was 20 years ago that survey was given, or 15 years ago in grades five, seven, nine, eleven, every other year. And so it provides this longitudinal data that we can track over time, and it was every other year. Great. When districts started really looking at the data, not just as a tracking tool to look at risk behaviors or even resilient protective factors, but like, “Oh, I really want to use this data to help me improve school climate,” we had many districts ask us for the ability to survey students in grades three, four, five, six, seven, eight, all the way through 12th grade.
And so with that in mind, for elementary school, we have an elementary survey, and the elementary survey has similar items to the secondary survey, but the items on substance use, tobacco, alcohol, those items are toned way down to be age appropriate. So we still ask some, but not nearly as many, and not in as much detail. However, for districts that had asked us if they could survey their third and fourth graders, particularly around the social emotional health and learning items, what we do is we provide the survey without any of the alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use questions.
Now, when we get in seventh grade through 12th grade, most of those items are exactly the same. And over time… we used to not ask about suicide ideation in seventh grade. The thinking was it was not appropriate at that age. But as we started seeing, unfortunately, suicides happening in the younger grades, getting younger and younger, we decided that it was appropriate and necessary to ask seventh graders about suicide ideation. So those things have changed over the years, but the idea is that we are looking at protective factors and risk behaviors, social emotional and mental health, in a way that is age appropriate so that we can look at an overall context and we can look at those trends over time from fifth grade to 11th grade. I hope that helps.
It does. Thank you so much, Leslie. I do so much appreciate the clarity that you’ve provided. Also, the reminders to look through the dashboard and look through it carefully.
Thank you very much. everyone. Thank you very much for attending.