Student Health Surveys
Since 2003, CTC has worked with school districts in Franklin County and the North Quabbin to conduct the annual Student Health Survey of students in grades 8, 10 and 12. The survey examines student behaviors, and assesses “risk factors” that increase the likelihood of problem behaviors and “protective factors” that help keep our youth safe. Topics covered in recent surveys include mental health, violence in the community, attitudes about peer risk taking, dating and sexuality, exercise and nutrition, and decision-making. Using the results of the survey, we are better able to design programs, secure funding, and educate parents, students and the community.
Nine school districts participate in the regional survey: Athol/Royalston, Four Rivers Public Charter School, Franklin County Technical School, Frontier, Gill-Montague, Greenfield, Mohawk Trail, and Pioneer Valley, and Ralph C. Mahar.
To broaden and enrich the information the surveys provide, we use three different survey instruments in a three-year cycle. Each survey has its particular strengths and uses.
For more information about the Student Health Survey, contact Nick Hathaway.
For additional analyses, summaries, and reports, submit your request here.
Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2007-2023)
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every other year, the CDC conducts a national YRBS, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education conducts a state YRBS. Using the YRBS locally therefore enables us to compare our young people to their peers in the state and nation as a whole. The YRBS examines only behaviors (not contributing factors) but covers a broader range of behaviors than does the PNAS. CTC used the YRBS to survey students in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.
Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (2003-2022)
The Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (PNAS) asks students about substance use and violence, and assesses risk and protective factors that underlie risky behaviors. The detail the PNAS provides on risk and protective factors in the school, family, and community have proven valuable for community assessment and strategic planning. CTC conducted the PNAS in area schools in 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012 providing data to gauge trends over time. The trends show that substance use is down. We also see an improvement in school climate, an important contributor to healthy behaviors.
School Climate Survey (2008-2020)
In addition to the surveys described below, every three years CTC uses a survey of its own design, so as to explore emerging issues and issues of local importance that are not addressed in the standard national surveys. The survey retains a core set of questions from national surveys to maintain an annual check on critical behaviors, and it draws research-tested questions from established surveys to the extent possible. It is designed by the Regional School Health Task Force (RSHTF) with the aim of providing information desired by local schools and community groups. Community members interested in particular data for needs assessments, program evaluations or grant applications are invited to submit their ideas to the RSHTF for possible inclusion in the custom survey.
2020 results summary presentation
The 2017 Custom Survey incorporated a US Department of Education survey on school climate.
2017 chart of key substance use trends
2017 report on school climate
COVID, Remote Learning & Mental Health Survey (2021)
With the tremendous changes of the past year, the 2021 survey was adapted to better reflect the questions raised about the impacts of COVID and quarantine on our youth.
More than 1,500 Franklin County and North Quabbin students from 9 school districts participated in the survey during February of this year, providing valuable insights into COVID-related health behaviors and concerns.
The Communities That Care Member Survey (2022)
Many thanks to those of you who took the CTC member survey. We had 51 responses, and tremendously thoughtful input on the open-ended questions. The Coordinating Council will use the findings in the ongoing strategic planning process. On the whole, respondents expressed satisfaction with
- Provision of information about youth health, 94%, satisfied or very satisfied
- Efforts to promote collaboration, 90%
- Participation of influential people from key sectors, 90%
- Clarity of vision, 88%
- Follow-through on plans, 86%
- Communication among members of the Coalition, 73%
- Helping members articulate how their work is connected to a community-wide effort, 73%
Areas for growth include:
- Using members’ skills effectively, 58% satisfied
- Helping members improve programs in their own organizations, 54% satisfied)
- Communication about issues of concern and resources to address them, 69% satisfied
Focus Groups and Interviews (2015-2022)
In 2015-2016, CTC conducted a set of interviews and focus groups as a part of a community assessment on the topic of youth substance use. The report on findings for all community stakeholders is available here. A separate report on the focus groups conducted among youth is available here.
Focus groups on substance use and mental health issues were held with local parents and youth in the summer of 2022. Select results from those focus groups were integrated with the 2022 Results Summary Presentation. For more information on the results of those focus groups, please contact Nick Hathaway.
Some of Our Recent Data News
Over the holiday weekend, the Communities That Care Coalition released the results from their 20th annual survey of middle and high school students in Franklin County and the North Quabbin region. Nearly 1600 students throughout 9 public school districts participated in the survey this past spring, adding to a wealth of information on substance use,…
For nearly two decades, the Communities that Care Coalition has coordinated an annual survey of Franklin County and North Quabbin’s 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. Each year, The Coalition works with local schools to collect and provide valuable data on teen’s relationship with their school, their families, and substance use. With the tremendous changes of…
The Communities That Care Coalition has released the results of our 2021 Teen Health Survey. More than 1,500 Franklin County and North Quabbin students from 9 school districts participated in the survey during February of this year, providing valuable insights into COVID-related health behaviors and concerns. You can view our data presentation here. And you can…