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Safe & Supportive Schools FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) from the Safe and Supportive Schools Orientation Webinar.

Frequently Asked Questions from the Safe and Supportive Schools Orientation Webinar, January 19, 2011

General Administration

  1. To meet the Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) requirements, what else do we administer besides the core module to the students?

    Answer: In addition to the core survey, districts are required to also administer the new S3 module, which contains questions from the Closing the Achievement Gap module and some school climate-related questions.

  2. Is there a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the S3 survey administration?

    Answer: Yes, there is a separate S3 MOU. The agreement between the S3 district and the California School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey (Cal-SCHLS) Regional Center has different parameters than the typical MOU. If you administered the surveys in the fall, you signed the typical MOU. You will need to read and sign the S3 MOU for the spring administration.

  3. If we elect to have students complete the survey online, can the site handle a large number of survey participants at the same time?

    Answer: Yes, but we do recommend the online California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) be scheduled over several days. Call your Cal-SCHLS Regional Center to discuss your options.

  4. How quickly will districts get survey data back to help inform planning?

    Answer: Six to eight weeks.

  5. We are a large district with many high schools; how many surveys will we get at one time?

    Answer: You will receive enough surveys for one or more high schools, depending on size. Contact your Cal-SCHLS Regional Center to discuss your local needs and how they can be accommodated.

  6. Can charter schools participate in S3?

    Answer: Yes, all comprehensive high schools in the S3 districts are eligible to participate. This includes district-funded charter schools. Comprehensive high schools are defined as schools classified as public high schools in the California School Directory that have an exclusive grade span of nine through twelve.

  7. I understand that we only have to survey ninth and eleventh grade students and their parents. What about the California School Climate Survey (CSCS)?

    Answer: It is easier to survey all staff associated with each high school than select those associated with only ninth and eleventh grade. However, if a school chooses to only survey ninth and eleventh grade staff, it is fine too. Please contact your Cal-SCHLS Regional Center so that the correct staff response rate can be calculated.

  8. Do we need to survey our nontraditional high schools?

    Answer: S3 grants are intended for comprehensive high schools as defined in Question 6. Nontraditional high schools are not eligible for the grants and are not required to be surveyed.     

Extent of Survey Funding

  1. I know the S3 grant allows the California Department of Education (CDE) to provide answer sheets, surveys, district and school level reports, at no charge, but is there any support for my staff, who will be coordinating the administration (i.e., confirming with principals and teachers, dealing with reschedules and problem packets, resolving errors on the tracking forms, etc.)?

    Answer: The S3 grant allows for several supports to help districts administer the survey, but the financial parameters of the grant do not allow covering costs associated with staff time.

  2. Is the grant covering the cost of the postage for the parent survey?

    Answer: No.

  3. Is the grant providing any other translations for the student survey?

    Answer: No—the CHKS is only available in English.

  4. Are the Regional Centers providing multiple copies of the Proctor Instructions?

    Answer: No—districts/schools are required to download the Proctor Instructions from the CHKS Web site and print on an as needed basis.

  5. Are there any incentives available for the parent survey (e.g., classroom gets a $20 gift card if at least 75 percent of parents return a survey)?

    Answer: No.

Parent Consent School Board Policy

  1. What if the School Board insists on active consent for all student surveys?

    Answer: Passive consent is highly recommended for the S3 spring administration of the CHKS, partially due to the need for a high response rate (60 percent or higher). However, active consent can be used if the School Board prefers.

  2. If our standard practice for the high school CHKS is passive consent, do we still need to create a board policy?

    Answer: No—if you already have a passive School Board policy in place, you do not need a separate one for S3.

S3 Advisory Committee

  1. What are the selection criteria for the Advisory Committee?

    Answer: The Advisory Committee will include participating local educational agencies (LEAs) that represent regional/urban/rural interest; selected county offices of education; researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders such as parent representatives, etc.

  2. Who makes the decision about who is selected for the Advisory Committee?

    Answer: The CDE decides which assemblage of researchers, administrators, and district staff is best suited for the Advisory Committee.

  3. Will the school climate index include CHKS resiliency data? 

    Answer: Most likely the CHKS resiliency data will be included in the school climate index. All aspects of the school climate index will be reviewed by the S3 Advisory Committee.

Parent Survey

  1. Are the parent surveys in Spanish?

    Answer: The parent survey is translated in 26 different languages, including Spanish.

  2. Is the parent survey for parents of ninth and eleventh graders or for all high school students?

    Answer: The S3 grant will cover the costs associated with the parent survey at the ninth and eleventh grades. If districts elect to survey parents of tenth and twelfth graders, they will do so at the district’s expense.

  3. What is the deadline for the parent surveys?

    Answer: All survey materials associated with the parent survey should be submitted to your Cal-SCHLS Regional Centers no later than May 31, 2011.

Districts that Surveyed Fall 2010

  1. My district completed the CHKS and the CSCS in the fall of 2010 and didn’t reach the 60 percent response rate per grade per site. Do we need to re-survey the schools?

    Answer: Districts can elect to re-survey at schools and grade levels that did not meet the 60 percent response rate. To be considered for the S3 grant, each high school must obtain a response rate of 60 percent or better for both the CHKS and the CSCS. This means a minimum of 60 percent per grade (ninth and eleventh) for the CHKS; and 60 percent or more for the CSCS. Please see Question 7 for additional information on the CSCS response rate.

  2. If our district just completed the CHKS last year (2009–10), would our district have to give the survey again in the spring 2011?

    Answer: Yes.

  3. We administered the CHKS in the fall of 2010 but had a 58 percent response. I assume we need to redo now?

    Answer: If the 58 percent response rate is at the district level, contact your Cal-SCHLS Regional Center to obtain the response rate by grade and by school. Please see the answer for Question 22.

  4. Since I already administered the CHKS in the fall, can I be reimbursed for the cost of the surveys and answer sheets?

    Answer: Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse districts for their past survey-related costs.

  5. We administered the CHKS survey in October of 2010 for students and staff. We know we will need to do the parent survey in the spring, too. Do we need to sign an MOU again to administer the staff and parent survey in the spring or does that MOU that was done in the fall good enough?

    Answer: See the answer to Question 2.

  6. We only have two schools and two grades that did not meet the 60 percent rate when we administered the CHKS in the fall of 2010. Is it necessary to redo the CHKS for all of the schools in order to be eligible for the S3 grant or just for those two schools?

    Answer: If you want those sites to be eligible for the S3 grant, you need to re-administer the survey for just those schools and just the grades that did not meet the 60 percent rate.

  7. If we did student surveys in the fall and we reached 60 percent response rate, do we have to give the S3 module portion of the survey now?

    Answer: No, that will not be necessary.

  8. Is there a minimum response rate needed for the parent survey?

    Answer: No, we did not establish a minimum response rate for the parent survey. However, districts are encouraged to reach out to the parents in their high schools to encourage them to complete the survey.
Questions: Hilva Chan | hchan@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0194 
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