Minnesota Student Survey – Overview
The MINNESOTA STUDENT SURVEY (MSS) provides youth, parents and their communities a dynamic vehicle for on-going communication about issues vital to the health, safety and academic success of youth. Since the survey was first offered in 1989, it has gained a solid reputation as a reflection of the needs and strengths of adolescents. It is a valuable tool for school districts, county agencies and state agencies in planning meaningful and effective ways of supporting students and families.
The survey is voluntary, confidential and anonymous on the part of students. It is designed to be given to 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th graders and asks students questions about their activities, opinions and behaviors. The broad array of issues addressed include substance abuse (tobacco, alcohol and other drugs), school climate and safety, nutrition, academics, connections with school, family and community and many other topics. At the senior high level, there are questions asked about sexual activity and more extensive questions about drug usage. The survey is offered to traditional public elementary and secondary schools, charter schools, tribal schools, alternative learning centers and to youth in juvenile correctional facilities. Findings for the juvenile correctional facilities and alternative learning settings are reported separately.
State, county and district-level data are made available on the Minnesota Department of Education website. Beginning with 2013, data are available in an interactive format that allows users to customize their view of the results.
School district findings often satisfy the requirement for objective data for state and federal grants. As important partners in providing services to students and their families, local public health and social service agencies find that the data are important for planning and programming. State agencies use the findings to monitor trends in health and risk behaviors, to design and adjust programming to meet current and anticipated needs of youth, to apply for funding for statewide initiatives and to assist schools and communities in efficient planning and implementation of youth programs.
The survey is offered every three years; 2016 will be the tenth administration. There have been high levels of participation on the part of school districts in the past and high participation rates among youth within those districts, making the data a strong depiction of the factors that bolster Minnesota students as well as those that put them at risk for health, social or learning problems. Statewide in 2013, over 160,000 youth participated.
For the 2016 survey administration, the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, Public Safety and Human Services are working together to manage the tasks of preparation, data analysis and reporting.
As part of Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232h; 34 CFR Part 98), all Local Education Agencies (LEAs) must provide parents and students notification of the Minnesota Student Survey (MSS) administration in their district. As part of this notification, parents must be allowed to review the survey and be given the opportunity to elect not to allow their child to participate in the survey (passive consent).
If you'd like to review the MSS prior to administration, please contact _______________.
ISD 622 Parent Letters
ISD 622 2016 Testing Dates
January 4 - January 16, 2016