Please read this letter about the survey being conducted in our school. This letter contains information about your rights and why this survey is important.

Please visit for additional information.


Dear Students:

Our school district is working very hard to better understand health risk and protective behaviors. As part of this effort, we are asking students in grades 7-12 to participate in an anonymous survey called the Ohio Healthy Youth Environments Survey — OHYES! on Wednesday, 11/20/19. The OHYES! is a tool designed by the Ohio Departments of Education, Health, and Mental Health and Addiction Services and numerous other programs advocating for youth. Our school has decided to use this survey to understand more about our students.

What am I being asked to do? We would like you to answer questions about:

  • personal use of alcohol , tobacco, and other drugs, perception of risks, where accessed
  • feelings about their school and community
  • family and personal relationships, and demographics
  • mental health, suicide and access to care
  • health-related behaviors (i.e. sleep, nutrition, exercise, and sexual behavior)
  • The survey can be viewed at the school’s office, or online ( –119 item version

How long will the survey take? The survey includes 119 items; it has been tested with other youth and should take about 15-20 minutes.

Do I  have to participate?  No, that is a choice for you and your parent/caregiver. But we really want to hear what you have to say.

How do you protect my privacy? Schools have been instructed on how to protect student anonymity and confidentiality. Please see

Will participating help or hurt me? Many people like sharing their experiences and opinions. Sometimes sharing personal things can be stressful or emotional. The survey instructions state that you may skip any questions you are uncomfortable with or stop the survey at any time; there is a back, next, and quit button on each question screen. There is no penalty for not taking the survey or for stopping.

Who will know what I answer?  Your privacy will be strictly protected. You are NOT asked for your name, identification number or date of birth. No one can identify your responses. Data is sent directly to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), no data is stored on school computers; the school does not have access to any individual survey data. OhioMHAS will not be able to link answers to individual students or report anything you say to parents, teachers, or administrators. The survey is anonymous and no student will be identified in the results. Student responses will be combined and reported together. There are also minimum reporting requirements (15 or more respondents).

How does my family and community benefit? OHYES! results will help guide communities in creating and improving youth health programs in Ohio. The results will be shared with everyone, including families, faculty and students, and the public. State-level and county-level results will be available to the public at District and school results will only be available to Superintendents and Principals with secured access.

Do my parents have to sign a form to participate? Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) requires parent or guardian permission for research involving children. To protect you, we require parent notification and provide parents the ability to opt out your participation. This method is commonly known as passive consent, and minimizes administrative burden on schools, maintains student confidentiality, and increases response rates. We hope your parents will permit you to participate. If so, there is no need for them to do anything. If they do NOT want you to participate in this survey, they must complete the Parent Opt Out Form and provide it to the school.  

Does answering the survey influence students to try unhealthy behaviors? Absolutely no research supports any connection between completing a health behavior survey and trying an unhealthy behavior. You may be reassured to know that many unhealthy behaviors among young people – including tobacco use, sexual behaviors, and some forms of violence – have declined since 1991. During that same period, youth surveys have increased nationwide.

Who can I contact if I have questions? Visit the website at or email You can also call the OHYES! Team at 1-866-563-6904.

Todd Kozarec
Valley View High School


Printable OHYES! Survey Letter

OHYES! Opt Out Form

Copy of OHYES! Survey