The Minnesota Student Health Survey is Here!

Minnesota Student Health Survey 2016 is HERE!                                 

by Anne Taylor

This is a repost of Anne’s article from last week.  For your perusal, the link to the 2016 Minnesota Student Health Survey is copied into the bottom of this article.

Parents are reporting that the Minnesota Student Health survey is here!  According to the MN DOE the survey will take place anywhere from January thru May of 2016.  A note that late fall of 2015 was the cut-off for districts to decide if they wanted to distribute the annual survey to its students in 2016.  Contact your school TODAY to see if/when your school will participate in the survey.

So what is it, what do you need to know, and what are your parental rights…

  • The Minnesota Student Health Survey is administered every 3 years, from grades 5-12 and includes public schools as well as some private schools.
  • 111 questions are asked (19 pages long) in the form of a standardized test.
  • The survey may be administered in pencil/paper, however most students will access the survey via school issued iPads, chrome books or computers.
  • For the electronic version, students log in using their personal student ID code that links them to the survey.
  • Parents are given the right to come into the school to view the survey, and may choose to opt their child out from taking it.
  • Data results are shared statewide as well as with nonprofits and businesses. It is said this is done in order to evaluate student trends and is used for funding programs that appear to have a greater need based on data results.
  • While the survey is said to be “anonymous and confidential,” again students often gain access to the survey via school issued technology and is linked to their student ID.
  • “The privacy of the students is protected” according to the MNDOE. It may not be with the number of data breaches in technology and the way in which results of the survey are shared.
  • Approximately 1 hour of classroom time will be used.

The Minnesota Department of Education states parents (and/or legal guardians) are to be notified by their school on the survey AND hold the right to opt-out.

If you do NOT opt-out, your child will automatically be opted-in to participate in taking the survey.  This is called “passive consent.”  See the MN Dept of Education link disclosure.

What every parent MUST know regarding the questions:  Ask yourself if you feel your family’s privacy as well as your child’s privacy is being protected.  Here are questions to expect from the 2016 survey for those in grades 7-12.

Grade, age, ethnicity, gender identity, how people may describe your child at school, who child lives with, grades, skipping class, plans after high school, visits to school nurse, discipline/suspension at school, grades, change in schools, police officers in school, physical & mental health questions, height & weight, appearance, bullying, school activities, religious/church affiliation, jobs, when the child last saw a doctor, gym class, types of food/drink consumed, seat belts, “feelings,” suicide, sexual encounters (how many partners as well as their gender), unprotected sex & protected (types of birth control used), physical and sexual abuse, cigarettes (including E-cigarettes), alcohol and drug use (illegal as well as prescription).


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