During the week of February 20-24, the junior high and high students will have the opportunity to participate in the Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey. This valuable data collection tool assists educators and health professionals in determining the prevalence of health-risk behaviors. Although participation is required, we strongly encourage all students in grades 7-12 to participate to help us better understand the needs of students in the state and our area. All responses are confidential, and there is no identifying information attached to the results that are released. There is an option to "opt out" through a form available at the school. If you would like your child to opt out, please contact Mr. Wilson or Mrs. Tacke , and we will send a form home with your student(s). All students will participate in the survey unless we receive a signed copy of the opt out form.
Please contact the school with any questions or concerns.
Below are some frequently asked questions and answers:
Q. How will survey results be used?
A. The Office of Public Instruction and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will use the results from the survey to improve academic achievement and ensure that students do not engage in the risk behaviors that are assessed by the YRBS. It is critical to implement quality school district health policies, programs and activities based on data about the health risk behaviors that students engage in.
Q. Are sensitive questions asked?
A. Some questions may be considered sensitive. STDs are a major health problem. Sexual intercourse is a behavior known to increase the risk of getting an STD. The only way to determine the extent to which adolescents are at risk is to ask questions about these behaviors. Suicide, tobacco, alcohol, other drug use, and weapon carrying also may be considered sensitive issues. Questions are presented in a straightforward and sensitive manner in recognition of these sensitive topics. If students are not comfortable answering a question, they may leave it blank.
Q. Will student participation be anonymous? Will student privacy be protected?
A. Yes. Survey administration procedures have been designed to protect student privacy and allow for anonymous participation. Students will not put their names or other identifying information on the questionnaires or answer sheets.
Q. Will certain students be surveyed again to see how their behavior changes?
A. No. Each biennial cycle a new sample of schools and students will be drawn. It will be impossible to track students who participate because no identifying information will be collected.
Q. How was my child selected?
A. Entire classes were selected rather than specific students.
Q. How long will it take to fill out the questionnaire?
A. One class period is needed for completing the written questionnaire, which contains multiple-choice questions. There is no physical test or exam involved.
Q. Does the survey have broad state and national support?
A. The survey is supported by many major national, state, and local organizations. Cosponsors of the Montana YRBS are the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services, the Montana Board of Crime Control, the Montana Department of Transportation, the Billings Area Indian Health Services, the Montana Department of Justice, and county health departments. Nationally, the YRBS is supported by the American Association of School Superintendents, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Catholic Educational Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American School Health Association, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Education Association, National Parent Teachers Association, National Education Association, National School Boards Association, National School Health Education Coalition, and the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education and Recreation just to name a few.