January 26, 2009

Schools say no to health survey

Rather than dip into instructional time, Board of Education members decided recently to refuse a request by state health officials to survey randomly selected city high school students.

“We’re fighting for every minute we can get” of classroom time, said Chris Wilson, a school board member.

“We do need to preserve all the instructional time we can,” said Susan Moreau, the deputy superintendent of schools.

The health survey request sought to have at least a handful of classes at the two high schools take about 45 minutes each to answer a number of questions about health-related issues.

the Connecticut School Health Survey randomly selects schools across the state to query about issues ranging from tobacco use to diet. There are many issues that have been investigated through the surveys over the years.

One part of the survey, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, quizzed a little more than 2,000 anonymous students at 46 public high schools in 2007, with 78 percent of the schools chosen participating in the effort.

Moreau said that Bristol seems to get picked a lot for a supposedly random survey. It has done them before, she said.

Both the principals of Bristol Central High School and Bristol Eastern High School said they agreed that the survey takes away too much time from students.

Martin Semmel, the principal at Central, said he didn’t want to get into a situation where one algebra class was taking the test and another was moving forward with its studies.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

more cities should take stances such as this and we wouldn't be having the state deficits that we are experiencing.

Anonymous said...

Good decision. Now take a look at some of those holidays and conference days... are there any full days of school in November?

Odin said...

Of course the students weren't allowed to participate in a survey. The Bristol BOE has a long tradition of burying its head in the sand over student health. A major study was done back in the early 2000's about underage smoking and drinking, and the results were never released because it showed that kids in Bristol drink and smoke more than their peers elsewhere.