Health Services » California Healthy Kids Survey

California Healthy Kids Survey


The California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) is the largest statewide survey of resiliency, protective factors, risk behaviors, and school climate in the nation. Across California, the CHKS has led to a better understanding of the relationship between students’ health behaviors and academic performance, and is frequently cited by state policymakers and the media as a critical component of school improvement efforts to help guide the development of more effective health, prevention, and youth development programs. It can be easily customized to meet local needs, interests, and standards, and provides a means to confidentially obtain data on student knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions about the topics it covers.

Major Survey Features

  • Available in a web-based online version or paper form with optical scan answer sheets.
  • Allows schools and districts to monitor whether they are providing the critical developmental supports and opportunities that promote healthy growth and learning.
  • Assesses health risks, specifically relating to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use; school violence; physical health; resilience and youth development; and school climate.
  • Offers add-on modules that expand on topics covered in the core module, including supplementary school climate and resilience/social-emotional health assessments; as well as address issues of sex education, healthy community environment, military students and families, gang involvement, school equity, cultural responsiveness, and other issues related to the achievement gap.
  • Allows schools to customize their surveys and focus on special topics by choosing from many existing items or creating new items of their own.
  • Works hand-in-hand with the California School Staff Survey and the California School Parent Survey to enable the comparison of student, teacher, and parent data.


Escalon USD CHKS Surveys

FAQ For California Healthy Kids Survey


Who chooses the questions that are on the test?

The survey questions are determined by the California Department of Education.


Why do we give the survey?

The state of California asks school districts to participate in the survey for the following reasons:

  1. Reduce Risk behaviors – The behaviors assessed by the CHKS are those that contribute directly to the leading causes of death, injury and social and personal problems among youth. Schools need a thorough understanding of the scope and nature of student risk behavior and the protective factors to develop effective prevention and health programs.
  2. Promote learning – ensuring that students are safe, drug-free, healthy and resilient is central to improving academic performance. Growing numbers of children are coming to school with a variety of health related problems that make successful learning difficult, if not impossible.
  3. Demonstrate Accountability – The CHKS is an important component of California's school accountability system which requires that schools objectively assess students and then set measurable goals for making improvements. The CHKS gathers information to identify the health and safety needs of the students, establish district goals, and monitor progress in achieving the goals.
  4. Meeting funding Requirements – for these reasons, state, federal and private agencies increasingly require schools to collect disseminate, and use health related data as a requirement for obtaining and maintaining funding. The CHKS is specifically designed to help meet such requirements.
  5. Promote Health programs and community support – a major reason for conducting the CHKS is to raise local awareness of adolescent risk behaviors and public support for school-health, prevention and youth development programs.


What if I don't want my child to participate?

You are able to opt out and you are able to opt out for your child. If you would like to opt out for your child, please complete and turn in the permission slip stating that you would not like them to participate. Please also instruct your child not to participate.


Why does the District use Passive Consent for students in grades 7-12?

Per the Ed Code 51938c, the district may NOT use active consent in grades 7 and above and MUST use passive consent.


51938 (c)

(c) Notwithstanding Section 51513, anonymous, voluntary, and confidential research and evaluation tools to measure pupils’ health behaviors and risks, including tests, questionnaires, and surveys containing age-appropriate questions about the pupil’s attitudes concerning or practices relating to sex, may be administered to any pupil in grades 7 to 12, inclusive. A parent or guardian has the right to excuse their child from the test, questionnaire, or survey through a passive consent (“opt-out”) process. A school district shall not require active parental consent (“opt-in”) for these tests, questionnaires, or surveys in grades 7 to 12, inclusive. Parents or guardians shall be notified in writing that this test, questionnaire, or survey is to be administered, given the opportunity to review the test, questionnaire, or survey if they wish, notified of their right to excuse their child from the test, questionnaire, or survey, and informed that in order to excuse their child they must state their request in writing to the school district.


Why does the survey ask questions about gender and how a student identifies?

 They ask for student demographic purposes and to understand if a particular group of students have identified needs that may require additional interventions.


Can my child refuse to answer specific questions that they do not feel comfortable answering?

Yes, students may answer or not answer whichever questions they would like.


Is there someone else I can speak to regarding questions on the CHKS?

Yes, you may reach out to Nelarie Romo, the Director of Student Services.