CalSCHLS Corner; Mental Health; Data Use; E-Cigarettes; SEL; Relationships; Engagement; School Safety; Professional Development; Resources & Upcoming Events
School Climate Connection Newsletter
 CalSCHLS Corner

What's New: Website
The separate CHKS, CSSS, and CSPS survey websites have been integrated into a single site to provide users with improved access to information and resources. The website includes a new Data Dashboard for online access to district results that complement the existing Query CalSCHLS system. Among the resources on the website are a crosswalk showing common items across the student, staff, and parent surveys and a new overview to the entire system.

CHKS Improvements for 2018-19
Changes made to the CHKS survey instrument for secondary schools include expanding marijuana questions to assess vaping, eating, and drinking in addition to smoking; adding questions on perceived availability and harm of vaping / e-cigarette use; expanding questions on meaningful participation; adding immigration status as a reason for being bullied; and improving the gender identification and sexual orientation question.

Administration Training and Data Workshops
Learn about CalSCHLS Administration Training and CalSCHLS Data Workshops by visiting the new CalSCHLS website or by downloading these flyers: Administration TrainingData Workshop, and Administration Training & Data Workshop.

CalSCHLS Administration
CalSCHLS participation continues to increase. In the two-year period 2016-17 and 2017-18, the CHKS was administered by 730 districts in 5,551 schools to almost 1.4 million students. Over one-third of districts administered the survey in both years. Staff survey participation was by 422 districts and parent survey by 273 districts.

Biennial Student Survey Report
Results of the 2015-17 State California Healthy Kids Survey, the 16th biennial student survey, indicate that alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use continue to decline among middle and high school students, and improvements have occurred in indicators of pupil engagement, school climate, and mental health among high school students. The data were derived from a randomly-selected, representative state sample of 51 middle schools and 60 high schools and over 28,000 students in grades 7, 9, & 11. Download the full report at
 Mental Health
The Guide to Increase Mental Health Services for Students was created by CDE Project Cal-Well to assist schools and districts to build capacity to better address mental health challenges among students. It addresses commonly-asked questions on the importance of student mental health, funding, staffing, and delivery model. It can be found at the Project Cal-Well website under Resources tab. Download the flyer.

Student Well-Being
Elementary school principals are worried about the rising numbers of students with emotional problems and mental health needs. They also rank family poverty, school safety, and students' lack of effective supervision at home as high on their list of anxieties about student well-being. Read the EdWeek blog.
See additional resources in sidebar.

 Data Use
Youth in Schools Data Available on Kidsdata
Youth in Schools, a comprehensive suite of data, includes new and updated indicators across more than a dozen topics from the viewpoint of California's students and school staff including data from the CalSCHLS student and staff surveys. These data are available for state, county, and school district levels, and student-reported data are easily customizable by grade level, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, parent education level and level of school connectedness. Learn more at See also kidsdata blog and YIS flyer. The system's CHKS data are also available through Query CalSCHLS

Federal Response
The U.S. FDA announced youth e-cigarette use "has reached an epidemic proportion" and gave major manufactures 60 days to make plans to limit sales to minors, or see their product pulled from the market. Read teen vaping epidemic.

E-cigarettes not Limited to Tobacco
Nearly 1 in 3 high school students and 1 in 4 middle school students reported having smoked marijuana using electronic cigarettes, according to 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey data. Read  marijuana in e-cigs.

Use in CA
In California, on the 2015-17 State Biennial CHKS, 8% of 9th graders and 10% of 11th reported currently using e-cigarettes, a significant decline from 2013-15.

Schools Respond to the Rise of Student Vaping
Easy to conceal in hoodies and hands, vaping takes a foothold among youth, and is now more prevalent than smoking traditional cigarettes. Schools look for solutions. Learn about their approaches.

 Social-Emotional Learning

Soft Skills
The age of automation demands that students learn soft skills. While there is no one universally accepted definition of "soft skills," the basic idea is simple: soft skills include everything an employee needs to be successful in her or his position other than academic skills. Read more.

Schools should assess students on both "academic knowledge" and "nonacademic skills"—like teamwork, critical thinking, and creativity—parents and educators said in a new survey. But they offered widely varying views on exactly what those skills should be.
 Teacher-Student Relationships

Building Rapport
Build rapport with students by learning who they are, accepting and celebrating their uniqueness, and really listening to them. Six strategies are: Stand in the hall between classes; Advise a club or open your room for study sessions; See students outside of class; Pay attention to and respect their nonverbal behavior; Always, always look for the good in them; and Be sincere. Read more.

 Student Engagement

Louisiana's Jefferson Parish Public Schools, responding to student survey data on connectedness and discipline, focused on improving student engagement through youth summits, “Climate Clubs,” and student-led implementation of restorative justice practices. Learn more.

 School Safety

Five Misconceptions About School Shooters
Although school shootings receive extensive media coverage, there is a lot of misinformation about the perpetrators, their attacks, and what schools and communities can do to prevent these events. In the interest of better informing educators, reporters, and the public, this article takes a brief look at five common misconceptions about school shootings and their perpetrators.

School Safety Requires Prevention, Not Just Physical Security
While many school safety conversations have focused on "hardening schools" with physical security measures, keeping students safe requires a broader, multifaceted approach, several panelists told a federal school safety commission last month.

Threat Assessment
Students who pose a safety threat to schools don't fit one single stereotype. A new report on school safety by the U.S. Secret Service states schools should focus on working through the threat assessment process. Read the EdWeek blog.

Emergency Resources
Because disaster training and management are not generally included in educator preparation programs, the AASA, the School Superintendents Association, has launched a new, one-stop web portal to help district leaders before, during, and after a crisis. Continue reading.

See additional resources in sidebar.

 Professional Development
Results of Edutopia's survey on the professional development books teachers would recommend to their teacher friends included several on increasing engagement and fostering social-emotional skills. 
CalSCHLS Helpline:  888.841.7536
CalSCHLS Helpline:

SCCN #69  09/27/18
In this issue:

 CalSCHLS Corner
 Mental Health
 Data Use
 School Safety
 Prof Development
Upcoming Events

Free Training
Youth Mental Health First Aid training from CDE
Information  &  Flyer

Mental Health Conversation
Text, Talk, Act
Suicide Prevention
Online Toolkit

Letter from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

School Safety Resources
Safe Kids Inc. and the H.E.R.O. Program

Safe and Sound Schools

I Love You Guys

National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education

Research Brief
School Resource Officers

Implementation Guide
Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model

Online Journal
2018 Spring/Summer School Community Journal (Vol 28, No 1)

Cyber Crimes
Tips for Teens

Educator & Adult Guide
 Upcoming Events

FREE Webinars
Strategies to Reduce Bullying & Improve School Climate
Thu, Oct 18, 10:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration
Webinar Series:
Homeless Youth and Schools

Paving the Way to College for Students Experiencing Homelessness
Thu, Sep 27, 11:00 am (PT) ​

Understanding the Rights of Students Experiencing Homelessness
Thu, Oct 11, 11:00 am (PT)
Information & Registration

Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Series
Trainings for building health and equity

Student Resilience
Strengthening Student Resilience: Cross-Sector Approaches for Promoting Effective Trauma-Informed and Mental Health Practices
Fri,  Oct 26,  8:30-4:00
Fresno, CA
The School Climate Connection Newsletter is provided through a partnership between the California Department of Education and WestEd. Its purpose is to disseminate current information about, and provide educators with, learning supports for school climate assessment and intervention, including up-to-date information on California's School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey System (CalSCHLS).

Find tips and resources on improving your school climate on the Safe and Supportive Schools website at
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