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, 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 (pdf).
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 the 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 address 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.
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“We all know that children can only learn to their full potential when they feel safe and secure at school and in their classroom. The California School Climate Survey, and its companion the California Healthy Kids Survey, provide a venue for students to express how they really feel about their school experience and their classroom environment. These surveys provide teachers and administrators the critical data needed to create positive learning environments in our schools. I strongly encourage all school districts to participate in these important surveys.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
News & Highlights
- Assessing School Climate (pdf) describes the value enhancing changes made to the CHKS and CSCS for assessing school climate.
- Using Cal-SCHLS to Assess Social Emotional Learning & Health (pdf). The Social Emotional Health Module (SEHM) boosts the value of the CHKS as a strengths-based assessment of positive emotions, engagement, and other social-emotional capacities linked to student mental health and well-being, academic success, and career and college readiness.
- CHKS 13-14 Revision Summary (pdf). WestEd and the CA Department of Education announce the most extensive revision of the Healthy Kids Survey (HKS) since its launch in 1998. Changes include a shortened Core Module with more focus on school climate and culture, an expanded School Climate Module, and a new Social Emotional Health Module.
- CHKS Funding Opportunity (pdf). Funding from California Health Care Services is available to cover the costs of CHKS district administration for districts that have at least one secondary school participating in the representative sample for the 2013-2014 Biennial CHKS. Download the list of Biennial Statewide CHKS sample schools and the survey incentives offered.
- Helpful Resources for Local Control and Accountability Plans and School Safety Plans (pdf). Learn how the CHKS — along with its companion school staff and parent surveys — is an invaluable resource to CA schools for developing, monitoring, and evaluating their Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) and Comprehensive School Safety Plan, as required by state legislation.
- Tom Torlakson Urges LEA Participation in the CHKS. In a letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators, the Superintendent of Public Instruction encourages CHKS participation to support school climate improvement.
- The Case for Continuing CHKS. This Prevention Tactics publication discusses the benefits of continued CHKS administration. It describes how the decline in CHKS participation stymies prevention efforts throughout California, and provides stakeholder strategies for fiscal, administrative, and community support.
CHKS is part of the comprehensive California School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey (Cal-SCHLS) System. Learn more about Cal-SCHLS..
The California School Parent Survey (CSPS) assesses the experiences and views of parents related to school climate, student achievement, and parent outreach, in comparison to staff and student perspectives. Visit the Website