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California Healthy Kids Survey

A comprehensive youth self-reported data collection system that addresses school climate, health risks and behaviors, and youth resiliency.

The California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) is an anonymous, confidential survey of youth resiliency, protective factors, and risk behaviors. It is administered to students at grades five, seven, nine, and eleven. It enables schools and communities to collect and analyze data regarding local youth health risks and behaviors, school connectedness, protective factors, and school violence. The CHKS is part of a comprehensive data-driven decision-making process on improving school climate and student learning environment for overall school improvements.

The CHKS is a companion tool to the California School Climate Survey (CSCS) for staff and the California School Parent Survey (CSPS) for parents. Together, they form the California School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey (Cal-SCHLS) System External link opens in new window or tab. .

At the heart of the CHKS is a research-based core module that provides valid indicators to promote student engagement and achievement, safety, positive development, health, and overall well being. In addition, there are supplementary modules to choose from at the secondary school level that ask detailed questions on specific topics. These include more in-depth questions on resiliency and protective factors; school climate; resiliency and youth development; social emotional health and learning; tobacco use; alcohol and other drug use; safety/violence; physical health; sexual behavior; after school activities; gang awareness; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender school experiences; and military connected school. Districts can also customize their questions in a custom module targeting topics of local interest.

Survey Requirement

As a funding condition, districts receiving Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE) funding are required to conduct the biennial CHKS.

TUPE grantees are required to conduct the CHKS Core Module biennially at grades seven, nine, and eleven. Any TUPE grantee only serving students in grades kindergarten through six must conduct the CHKS elementary module in grade five.

Districts that participated in the data collection phase of the S3 program were required to conduct the three surveys of Cal-SCHLS in 2010-11 and 2013-14 among all its high schools at grades nine and eleven. High schools that received a S3 grant conducted the three surveys of Cal-SCHLS among all grades in 2011-13.

Parent Consent

California Education Code sections 51513 and 51938(b) specify that parent or guardian consent be granted before students are given questionnaires or surveys asking about personal beliefs or practices that include health behavior and risks. There are two kinds of parent or guardian consent: passive and active.

  • Active Consent requires that a parent or legal guardian be notified in writing and gives written permission for the student to participate in the survey. Active consent is required of the fifth grade CHKS survey, and is optional for seventh grade and up.
  • Passive Consent requires that a parent or legal guardian be notified in writing about the survey and is given the opportunity to review the survey. Parents need to notify the school if they do not want their child to participate in the survey. Passive consent is optional for grades seven through twelve.

Regardless of which consent option is selected, the school board must formally adopt, in consultation with parents, a consent policy for the administration of the CHKS. More information about parent/guardian consents is available at CHKS Parent Consent External link opens in new window or tab..

Sample Introductory Letter and Consent Form

Introductory Letter

The Introductory Letter can be sent out along with the Parental Consent form to help parents/guardians fully understand the Survey's purpose and value.

Elementary Schools (Active Only)

CHKS Active Introductory Letter for Elementary Schools (English) (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Active Introductory Letter for Elementary Schools

Middle Schools (Active or Passive)

Passive

CHKS Passive Introductory Letter for Middle Schools (English) (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Passive Introductory Letter for Middle Schools

Active

CHKS Active Introductory Letter for Middle Schools (English) (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Active Introductory Letter for Middle Schools

High Schools (Active or Passive)

Passive

CHKS Passive Introductory Letter for High Schools (English) (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Passive Introductory Letter for High Schools

Active

CHKS Active Introductory Letter for High Schools (English) (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Active Introductory Letter for High Schools

Consent Form

Elementary Schools Consent Form (Active Only)

CHKS Active Consent Form for Elementary School (English) External link opens in new window or tab. (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Active Consent Form for Elementary Schools
The active consent form is distributed to parents/guardians of elementary school students informing them of the Survey. Parents/guardians must return the form in order to give their permission.

Middle Schools Consent Form (Passive or Active)

Passive

CHKS Passive Consent Form for Middle School (English) External link opens in new window or tab. (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Passive Consent Form for Middle Schools
The passive consent form is distributed to parents/guardians of middle school students informing them of the Survey. Parents/guardians return the form only if they do not wish for their child to participate.

Active

CHKS Active Consent Form for Middle School (English) External link opens in new window or tab. (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Active Consent Form for Middle Schools
The active consent form is distributed to parents/guardians of middle school students informing them of the Survey. Parents/guardians must return the form in order to give their permission.

High Schools Consent Form (Passive or Active)

Passive

CHKS Passive Consent Form for High School (English) External link opens in new window or tab. (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Passive Consent Form for High Schools
The passive consent form is distributed to parents/guardians of high school students informing them of the Survey. Parents/guardians return the form only if they do not wish for their child to participate.

Active

CHKS Active Consent Form for High School (English) External link opens in new window or tab. (DOC)
Available Translations of CHKS Active Consent Form for High Schools
The active consent form is distributed to parents/guardians of high school students informing them of the Survey. Parents/guardians must return the form in order to give their permission.

Survey Reports

CHKS Survey Reports External link opens in new window or tab. are available in district, county, and statewide level.

Query CHKS

Query CHKS is a new collaborative project between the California Department of Education (CDE), WestEd, and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health and its kidsdata.org External link opens in new window or tab. Web site. Query CHKS External link opens in new window or tab. allows users to generate tables, maps, graphs, and charts comparing key CHKS data among district, county, and with the state.

Technical Assistance for School Districts

The CDE contracts with WestEd to assist districts in administering the CHKS and the other two companion surveys. WestEd provides training and technical assistance to districts through three regional survey centers, a toll-free phone line at 888-841-7536, free online training, and the CHKS External link opens in new window or tab. Web site. To get more information or to sign up for CHKS, contact your CHKS Regional Survey Center at 1-888-841-7536 or visit CHKS External link opens in new window or tab. for more information.

CHKS and Academic Achievement
Research has shown that meeting the basic developmental needs of students by ensuring that they are safe, drug-free, healthy, and resilient is central to improving their academic performance.

California Healthy Kids Survey - CalEd Facts
This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

Questions: Hilva Chan | hchan@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0194 
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 18, 2016
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