2018 IL Youth Survey shows higher school connectedness

2018 IL Youth Survey shows higher school connectedness

Key observations from the Illinois Youth Survey were shared with the Board of Education at the June 25, 2018 meeting. Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Lori Lopez and Superintendent Laurie Heinz led a review and discussion of the results.

The survey is administered every other year, most recently in January to eighth grade students at both Emerson and Lincoln middle schools to better understand youth attitudes and behaviors that can impact student success.

"Our community and D64 uses this information to determine what actions may be needed to keep students safe and healthy," Dr. Lopez and Dr. Heinz told the Board.

At both middle schools, District 64 students report use rates that are lower than the state average for cigarettes, marijuana, and prescription drugs and the same as the state average for illicit drugs. Use of alcohol and inhalants is higher than the state average at Emerson, and lower than the state average at Lincoln.

In general, District 64 student perceptions of school climate (i.e., caring adults, high expectations, meaningful participation, school connectedness) track with state averages with slightly higher rates of school connectedness in District 64.

Going forward, here are other health-related steps that will be taken:

  • Each middle school has an established Behavior Team that will review the data.
  • District 64’s Health program comprehensively addresses the risks and consequences of substance use. Last school year, District 64 collaborated with the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation (MCYAF) to revise our Health curriculum to include more comprehensive information about vaping/e-cigarette use; the survey data suggests this will be a continued area for student education.
  • District 64 also expects to intensify instruction related to alcohol use and to support parents with having conversations with middle schoolers about substance use.

In addition to these health-related topics, school leadership teams will continue to address strategies for bullying prevention and opportunities for increased meaningful student participation. These topics directly link to District 64 2020 Vision Strategic Plan initiatives. As the District enters the second year of our social emotional learning implementation efforts in 2018-19, District 64 will include a focus on restorative practices, which are key strategies for addressing bullying and bullying prevention.

Read more about the survey results here.