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California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS)

California Healthy Kids Survey

California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) is a comprehensive youth health risk and resilience behavior data collection service available to all California districts, sponsored by the California Department of Education (CDE).  It consists of a comprehensive survey instrument that assesses all major areas of health-related behavior, as well as a full-service survey support system to help districts collect and use CHKS data to improve prevention and health programs.  At Capistrano Unified School District the survey is administered to 5, 7, 9 and 11-grade students in January.  In addition, parents are asked to complete a survey to evaluate the school site.  CUSD Staff were surveyed in 2018 and are surveyed every other year.


Parent Communication Timeline for 2018-19
Week of January 1    Parent Letter Mailed home
January 14  Phone/Email Reminder to Parents
January 15

Parent Information Meeting

9:00am District Office (Boardroom) 
6:00pm Las Flores Elementary

January 16     

Parent Information Meeting
6:00pm Marblehead Elementary

January 14 – February 1    Window opened for Parent Survey
January 22 – February 14   Window opened for Student Survey


Student Participation

  • Parents of Grade 5 students must return a signed consent form in order for the student to participate

  • Parents of Grade 7, 9, & 11 students must return a signed opt-out form if they don’t want their student to participate

The Consent/Opt-Out form is at the bottom of the parent letter that is mailed to parents the first week of January

Survey Design:

The CDE and its partners fund the CHKS not only because it is important that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have their own data, but also to obtain a dataset of comparable results across LEAs for analysis at the state level. Analysis of the statewide dataset has significantly increased identification of, and knowledge about youth who are most at risk of school and health problems. Many of these analyses were conducted on groups that are too small at the individual district level to assess, such as youth in foster care or the homeless. To preserve this purpose and benefit of the CHKS, it is essential that the CHKS contractor processes and aggregates all data, and that all participants administer at least the Core Module of key indicators.  Districts have the flexibility of selecting additional modules and/or creating their own questions to be added to the Core Module.  Any changes made to the Core Module survey is not allowed by CDE.


The survey for Grades 7, 9 and 11 asked students two questions regarding sexual orientation, one question about transgender, and one question regarding sexual jokes.  The parent letter for the 2018-19 school year lists this specific content in the letter so that parents know these questions are being asked.  There is a direct link to the surveys provided in the parent letter for parents to easily review the surveys.  Grade 5 students are not asked these questions.

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