Our school is participating in a joint effort of the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE), the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHSS), and the Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The YRBS was designed by the CDC to identify and monitor priority health risk behaviors that are established during youth and result in sickness, disability, social problems, and death among young adults. The survey is made up of multiple-choice questions. Topics covered include nutrition, physical activity, injuries, tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors, bullying, confrontation, and attempted suicide. These data are also extremely important to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department’s effort to evaluate trends related to these health topics.
The YRBS has been approved by state and local school officials and has the support of many national organizations, including the National Parent-Teacher Association and the American Medical Association. YRBS data have been invaluable in securing federal dollars for Nebraska school. “YRBS data are critical when applying for grants, such as the Carol M. White Physical Education program grant that the Lincoln Public Schools received in 2009 from the U.S. Department of Education. As we conduct regular reviews of our health education and physical education curricula, the YRBS data help us to focus on the needs of our students. Data from these student health surveys are invaluable as I advocate for the importance of health education in the school curriculum.” Matt Avery, Ed.D., Curriculum Specialist, Health & Physical Education, Lincoln Public Schools.
The NRPFSS is designed to measure adolescent substance abuse and risk and protective measures that relate to adolescent problem behaviors. One of the goals of this survey is to provide schools and communities with local level data to help in planning prevention programs based on the needs of their communities. Survey topics include the following: alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use, delinquent behaviors, bullying, depression, suicide risk, and risk and protective measures that place youth at increased risk for or protect them against substance abuse, delinquency, school drop-out, and other problem behaviors.
The NRPFSS provides data that school districts need to help fulfill federal reporting requirements. In the State of Nebraska, the NRPFSS is currently the only singular source of local level data on risk and protective measures, substance abuse, delinquency, and violence. NRPFSS data have been very helpful at the local level. “The data collected show trends in student risky behaviors. Our school can evaluate how well our school health program is meeting the needs of students and can identify areas for improvement.” Dr. Jon Cerny, Superintendent, Bancroft-Rosalie Community Schools.
Schools and school districts are assured confidentiality. Results for the state YRBS are not reported at the school or school district level. Data are reported only at the statewide, aggregate level. Since the Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department has requested a YRBS oversample, they will receive an aggregate report for the health department area. For the NRPFSS, data will only be shared with your school superintendent. The Superintendent may request a school, school district, and/or community level report from the BOSR at no cost. Any requests for school-level data made by a principal will require the superintendent’s approval. Any requests for school and school district results, whether made by State entities or outside organizations, will be directed to the superintendent. These steps assure that school district and school-level results will not be shared without the superintendent’s explicit approval.
We are one of only 82 public high schools nationwide invited to participate in the YRBS this year, and part of a 81-county, 25,000 student effort in Nebraska for the NRPFSS!
More information pertaining to the surveys including survey questions, (active) consent forms, commonly asked questions, endorsements, and the 2014 data results may be found on the Bureau of Sociological Research website!