School Climate Surveys

2019-2020 California Health Kids Survey

The California Health Kids Survey (CHKS) is a modular, anonymous assessment recommended for students age 10 (grade 5) and above. It is focused on the five most important areas for guiding school and student improvement:

  • student connectedness, learning engagement/motivation, and attendance;
  • school climate, culture, and conditions;
  • school safety, including violence perpetration and victimization/bullying;
  • physical and mental well-being and social-emotional learning; and
  • student supports, including resilience-promoting developmental factors (caring relationships, high expectations, and meaningful participation).

CHKS Developmental Framework

Promoting Resilience, Social-Emotional Learning, and Trauma-Informed Support Systems

A unique feature of the CHKS is its strength-based focus and theoretical framework drawn from resilience and youth development research. It assesses three fundamental developmental supports in the school, family, community, and peer-group:

  • positive adult relationships;
  • high expectations (academic and behavioral); and
  • opportunities for meaningful participation and decision-making.

Research links these supports to positive academic, psychosocial, and health outcomes among youth, even in high-risk environments. It also provides data on personal social-emotional strengths or assets associated with these factors. These are protective factors in that they mitigate against the adverse effects of stress, trauma, and other risk factors that youth may have experienced. As illustrated in the figure below, youth who attend schools and communities rich in these three supports are more likely to have their basic developmental needs met, which leads to them:

  • being less engaged in risk behaviors that are barriers to learning and healthy development,
  • feeling more connected to school, and
  • developing the social-emotional competencies or personal strengths that have been linked to school and life success. The results are that youth are more likely to have positive academic, personal, and health outcomes.

Sample Surveys

There is one survey for the fifth grade and four surveys for seventh grade. The seventh grade survey includes a core module and then three supplemental modules (Alcohol and Other Drugs, School Climate, and Social Emotional Health).

California Health Kids Survey Model

2018-2019 Youth Truth Survey Information

Student Survey

The Kentfield School District is asking your child in third through eighth grade to participate in the YouthTruth Student Survey in the coming weeks. The YouthTruth Student Survey is a nationally recognized survey used in hundreds of schools and districts across the country, surveying hundreds of thousands of students. The survey asks students about their experiences in the school and with their teachers, including how engaged they are at school, the rigor of their coursework, and their preparedness for the future. Our school, other schools, and researchers may use such information for developing plans to help schools and teachers improve. For information about this survey, please visit and our district's website on the survey.

  • Although we would like to hear from all students in third through eighth grade, participation in this survey is voluntary.
  • Your child’s ratings will not be identified in any reports because results are shared at the group level. Personally identifiable information will not be released to any third party.

Please be aware that under federal law, you have the right to review a copy of the questions asked of your child. A copy of the survey has been attached. Please note the attachment includes questions for elementary, middle, and high school students. Third, fourth, and fifth graders will be given the elementary age questions and sixth, seventh, and eighth graders will receive the middle school questions.

Please complete the attached form if you would like your child to be excluded from the survey. This exclusion form is also available in the Bacich School office.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Superintendent Liz School, Bacich Assistant Principal Methinee Bozeman, or Kent Assistant Principal Jenny Walsh.

We sincerely thank you for taking the time to help make our schools better places for our students. Your input is incredibly valuable to us.

If you have any questions about the survey, or our plans for how we will use your feedback, please contact me at

About the Youth Truth Survey

YouthTruth is a San Francisco-based nationally recognized student and stakeholder survey provider used in hundreds of schools and districts across the country, surveying hundreds of thousands of students.

Kentfield first administered Youth Truth's anonymous and confidential surveys in spring 2018. In the Youth Truth survey, we heard from the following stakeholder groups:


All eligible students in grades 3-8 were asked for their feedback about their school overall with questions related to school climate, academic rigor, relationships with teachers and peers (including bullying), and culture. We heard over 700 student voices through that effort.

● Our elementary survey was customized with additional questions related to project-based learning and school safety.

● Our middle school survey was customized with additional questions based on nutrition and exercise, drugs and alcohol, emotional and mental health, school safety, and student voice and leadership.

Parents and Guardians

We also engaged our parent/guardian community across themes of school culture, engagement and empowerment, relationships, communication and feedback, and school safety. Over 200 responses were collected.

School Staff

We asked all instructional and support staff for their feedback on feelings of engagement, empowerment, culture, communication, relationships, professional development, and support. Nearly 60 staff members responded to the staff survey.

Past California Healthy Kids Surveys

The California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) provided a comprehensive, data-driven, decision-making process to guide efforts to improve school climate, learning supports, and engagement, as well as identify and increase the quality of health, prevention, and youth development programs. The California School Staff Survey (CSSS) is a companion tool to the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS).