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School Health Surveys, Data & Assessment

Child Trends National Database
Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families by providing research and data to inform decision-making that affects children. In addition to conducting its own research, Child Trends works with federal and state officials and other researchers to improve the quality, scope, and use of data on children and their families. We provide technical assistance to public agencies and private organizations that develop, analyze, track, and use statistical indicators of child and youth well-being. We also assist in the design and implementation of policy and program evaluations.

Child Trends regularly and actively communicates key research and data on children and families to the media, public officials, professional organizations, foundations, service providers, and the general public. The goal of this work is to improve public understanding of the life circumstances of America's children and youth, and of the issues that are critical to their well-being. Child Trends has a large and diverse list of publications including research papers, research briefs, literature reviews, and a growing collection of "what works" interactive tables that identify programs proven by research to be effective in promoting child and youth development. For additional information please visit our corporate Web site.

CDC’s School Health Policies and Programs Study
The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS), the largest, most comprehensive assessment of school health policies and programs, is conducted at the state, district, school, and classroom levels nationwide. The study, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provides data to help improve school health policies and programs. SHPPS was conducted in 1994 and 2000, and data collection for the 2006 study will begin in January 2006. The study will assess the characteristics of eight components of school health programs at the elementary, middle/junior, and senior high school levels: Health education; Physical education; Health services; Mental health and social services; School policy and environment; Food service; Faculty and staff health promotion; Family and community involvement.

CDC’s School Health Index
The School Health Index (SHI) Self-Assessment & Planning Guide was developed by the CDC in partnership with school administrators and staff, school health experts, parents, and national nongovernmental health and education agencies for the purpose of: enabling schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs; enabling schools to develop an action plan for improving student health, which can be incorporated into the School Improvement Plan; and engaging teachers, parents, students, and the community in promoting health-enhancing behaviors and better health. There is growing recognition of the relationship between health and academic performance, and using the SHI allows schools to include health promotion activities in their overall School Improvement Plan.

CDC’s 2004 National Youth Tobacco Survey
The National Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted by CDC in 2004, can be used to estimate current use of tobacco products and selected indicators related to tobacco use among U.S. middle school and high school students. The online data can be used to produce national estimates of tobacco use by various demographic characteristics. The data are now available in SAS® and in Microsoft Access® formats.

CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) was developed in 1990 to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute markedly to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the United States. These behaviors, often established during childhood and early adolescence, include: Tobacco use; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and inadequate physical activity. The YRBSS provides useful national, state, and local data on the prevalence of health risk behaviors among youth.

KIDS Count
KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. By providing policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children.

The National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health
The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is a project of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. It is a nationally representative study that explores the causes of health-related behaviors of adolescents in grades 7 through 12 and their outcomes in young adulthood. Add Health seeks to examine how social contexts (families, friends, peers, schools, neighborhoods, and communities) influence adolescents' health and risk behaviors. Initiated in 1994 under a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) with co-funding from 17 other federal agencies, Add Health is the largest, most comprehensive survey of adolescents ever undertaken. Data at the individual, family, school, and community levels were collected in two waves between 1994 and 1996. In 2001 and 2002, Add Health respondents, 18 to 26 years old, were re-interviewed in a third wave to investigate the influence that adolescence has on young adulthood. Multiple datasets are available for study, and more than 1,000 published reports and journal articles have used the data to analyze aspects of these complex issues.

Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT)
The Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT) can help school districts conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of written physical education curricula, based upon national physical education standards. The PECAT is customizable to include local standards. The tool allows educators to assess the strengths and weaknesses of written curricula and results from the analyses can help school districts enhance, develop, or select appropriate and effective physical education curricula for delivering high-quality education in schools. It includes an overview of high-quality physical education, information about physical education curricula, tools to assess a curriculum, and resources for developing a curriculum improvement plan. The tool is divided into three sections: curriculum description, preliminary curriculum analyses, and content and student assessment analyses. In addition, it provides the overall PECAT scorecard, multiple curricula comparison scorecards, a curriculum improvement plan as well as appendices. The results from the analysis can help school districts enhance existing curricula, develop their own curricula, or select a published curriculum, for the delivery of quality physical education in schools.