Dear Parent or Guardian:
This semester our school will participate in the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), an important research study about student health and risk-related attitudes and behaviors. We are contacting you because your student is enrolled in a class that has been randomly chosen to participate in this voluntary, anonymous survey in your student's study hall on Nov. 30th. This survey will ask students about various health topics, including: physical activity, nutrition, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, mental health and suicide, bullying and other forms of violence, health care, and sexual behaviors (high school only). The survey also asks students about school engagement, school climate, youth-adult connectedness, and other protective factors known to be associated with healthy behaviors. We use this information to make informed decisions about programing and student needs.
The HKCS was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Departments of Education (CDE), Human Services (CDHS), and Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). These agencies provide funding to the University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus to implement the survey. This project has been approved by your school district and the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB). The anonymous survey results will help policy-makers, school personnel and community groups better understand the nature and extent of risk behaviors among our youth. The results will also help with planning programs and services for youth, as well as evaluating current programs. In order to get the most accurate information about youth risk behaviors, we would like all selected students to take part in the survey. As described below, however, participation in the survey is completely voluntary.
The paper and pencil survey is voluntary and anonymous and takes about 45 minutes to complete in a chosen classroom. The survey administration process has been designed to protect your student’s privacy. No information is collected that can identify individual students. Only your child will know how he or she answers the questions. Students do not get school credit for completing the survey, and there is no penalty for not participating. Students who take part in the survey may choose not to answer any question.
If your child will participate in the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, you do not need to sign or return anything. Students will receive the survey in class and are instructed to answer the questions or leave the survey blank. Students who are not completing the survey will do other schoolwork at their desk during the survey period. We encourage you to discuss the matter with your child and share your views on their choice to participate.
For more information about the study and to view a copy of the survey, please visit our website at http://www.healthykidscolo.org or call the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey Director, Dr. Ashley Brooks- Russell, at 303-724-8437. For questions regarding IRB approval, please contact COMIRB at 303-724-1055.