California Healthy Kids Survey

  • The California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) is the largest statewide survey of resiliency, protective factors, and risk behaviors in the nation. Across California, the CHKS has led to a better understanding of the relationship between students' health behaviors and academic performance and is frequently cited by state policymakers and the media as a critical component of school improvement efforts to help guide the development of more effective health, prevention, and youth development programs. It can be easily customized to meet local needs, interests, and standards, and provides a means to confidentially obtain data on student knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about the topics it covers.

    The CHKS also helps schools meet the current requirements of the federal Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSC) as embodied in Title IV of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001. NCLB requires that the CDE collect data on the incidence, prevalence, age of onset, and perception of health risks and social disapproval of drug use by youth, and violence in schools and communities through anonymous student and teacher surveys. The CHKS, along with its partner surveys, the California School Climate Survey and the California School Parent Survey, is highlighted as a model program in a research document released by the US Department of Education highlighting the research behind the Obama administration’s "Blueprint for Reform: The Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act"

    With the CHKS, schools, districts, counties, and the state have a standard tool that promotes the collection of uniform data within and across local education agencies that are also comparable to existing state and national survey datasets.

    Major Survey Features:

    • Available in paper form with optical scan answer sheets or in a web-based online version.
    • Allows schools and districts to monitor whether they are providing critical developmental supports and opportunities that promote healthy growth and learning.
    • Assesses health risks, specifically relating to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use; school violence; physical health; resilience and youth development; and school climate.
    • Offers add-on modules that expand on topics covered in the core module, including supplementary school climate and resilience/social-emotional health assessments; as well as addresses issues of sex education, healthy community environment, military students and families, gang involvement, school equity, cultural responsiveness, and other issues related to the achievement gap.
    • Allows schools to customize their surveys and focus on special topics by choosing from many existing items or creating new items of their own.
    • Works hand-in-hand with the California School Climate Survey and the California School Parent Survey to enable the comparison of student, teacher, and parent data.