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2022 Norwalk Youth Survey: What It Is & Why It Matters

Updated: Oct 23

In early September, the Norwalk Board of Education authorized the 2022 Norwalk Youth Survey, which will be given to 7th through 12th graders during the last week of October. The FAQ below explains...


Why Survey Our Youth? This will be the third time Norwalk has surveyed our middle and high school students. The survey allows students to share their beliefs and experiences on matters beyond academics that impact their learning and their lives. The information is used to guide community, municipal, and school initiatives to support our youth and address issues they experience. A few ways the survey findings have been used include:

  • The 2018 survey resulted in a five-year federal grant to support The Norwalk Partnership (TNP) in preventing underage substance misuse and promoting mental wellness.

  • The 2021 survey, conducted during COVID, was used to identify the mental health crisis in our students as well as to target the highest-risk populations. As a result, NPS brought in new mental health resources and trainings in our schools, and The Norwalk Partnership, Norwalk ACTS and community nonprofits developed plans, sought funding, and launched support groups for the highest-risk students.

What Data Will Be Collected? The survey is intended to gather information on both risk factors and protective factors facing our youth today. Specifically, it will gather information on students’ perceptions and experiences around substance use, mental health and suicide, online gaming, social media, bullying, toxic stress, sexual behaviors (high school only), extracurriculars, and connectedness to others. It will ask for demographic information (grade, race/ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, English Language Learner, IEP) in order to identify groups that may be at higher risk. You are welcome to look at the survey questionnaire at your school’s administrative offices.


Is the Survey Confidential? Please be assured that the survey is fully confidential and all findings will be anonymous. No personally identifying information will be collected. There is no way to identify an individual student.


Who Will be Surveyed? The survey will be administered to all 7th through 12th graders on the selected date. Schools are sending 2 letters home to parents advising them about the survey. Parents may inform their school if they do not want their child to take the survey; the parent letter explains the contact person to be notified in each school. Students can also choose not to participate on the date of the survey and can also skip any question they don't want to answer. Those who do not take the survey will be asked to work independently and quietly during the survey administration.


When and How Will the Survey Be Given? Each school will identify a period when the survey will be administered in their building during the last week of October. At that time, classes will watch a short video made by NPS students to explain the survey’s purpose, types of data collected, and confidentiality. Students will then click a link to complete the survey online in English or Spanish. The survey takes the average student around 17 minutes to complete.


When Will Survey Findings Be Available? The findings will be presented to the BOE and school administration in January, followed by a variety of presentations for parents and community members. Results will be posted at www.thenorwalkpartnership.org/presentations. TNP's "Norwalk Strong" clubs will work with TNP to share the findings back to their classmates.


Who Funds the Survey? This survey is funded by Positive Directions–The Center for Prevention and Counseling, through a Drug Free Communities, grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Positive Directions is the lead funder of The Norwalk Partnership (TNP), which is a coalition of community members and organizations dedicated to preventing substance misuse and promoting mental wellness in Norwalk youth and young adults. For more information, please contact Margaret Watt, Prevention Director, at mwatt@positivedirections.org

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