The Ohio Healthy Youth Environments Survey (OHYES!) is a free, voluntary, web-based survey to collect information that schools, communities leaders, and parents can use to identify important areas of need, access resources to reduce risk behaviors, create healthy and safe communities, schools. and family environments, and to track improvements in health and safety over time. OHYES! is a statewide survey of Ohio school students in 7th and 11th grades.
OHYES! was implemented at the outset of the 2016-2017 school year and is designed to provide needs-assessment data to schools and local health and human service agencies. While the State hopes the OHYES! can be beneficial in tracking trends and progress in meeting the needs of youth over time, the purpose is to assist Ohio in gathering information about diversity and disparities among minority populations, especially in terms of examining disparities and disproportionalities.
The three SS/HS LEAs experienced some challenges in the start-up implementation of the survey. The State leadership team used the learnings from the three LEAs to guide revisions and refinement of the OHYES! The SS/HS communities and State leaders have used the OHYES! survey to provide information to school and community teams, and to State leadership team. The information obtained allowed the teams to more effectively understand the needs of their students, and make informed decisions at the state and local levels.
“We are very pleased and proud with what has been able to be accomplished with the Safe Schools/Healthy Students program.
It has been so beneficial and worthwhile for our students, staff, our parents and the entire community…We are reaching students and
families that need to be reached and I believe, in turn, we have parents and families coming in to meet with our people to seek help and direction.
I know I can speak for our staff-they are pleased and relieved to have the personnel in place like this that they can go to and know that issues
and concerns expressed will be addressed for the betterment of the student and all the other outlying factors.”
– Larry Long, Superintendent, Millcreek-West Unity Local Schools.
A prime example from Harrison Hills School District is the use of data to drive key decisions in the district from the survey. The local SS/HS evaluator assisted Harrison Hills to review a three- year comparison of OHYES! survey. The data comparison helped the district see trends and assisted district administrators with future program planning. Annual review of OHYES! also helped the SS/HS team target areas for prevention services in the middle school due to data indicating a need for over-the-counter-drug prevention education.