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OLH SHIP-related activities

% of middle schools that have participated in the YRBS student analysis project

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

Updated: April 2015

Author: Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health

This is a new performance measure which aligns with the Vermont Department of Health, Division of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) 2014-2015 Strategic Plan. The name of the student led analysis project training is called, "Getting to ‘Y’". These trainings are offered by Up For Learning, and were previously funded by a grant awarded to the Agency of Education.

The target percentage of 20% was chosen to align with the two year timeframe of the recently updated MCH Strategic Plan, based on the average participation rate of 6 to 8 schools per year (primarily high schools prior to the 2013/2014 school year). Due to a very successful partnership between the partners below, and much outreach and promotion for this training among middle schools, the Getting to ‘Y’ training was offered twice during the 2013/2014 school year (October and January), and twice during the2014/2015 school year (two trainings occurring in October).


  • Up For Learning
  • Vermont schools
  • Agency of Education
  • Vermont Department of Health Divisions
    • Maternal and Child Health
    • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
    • Substance Use Programs
    • Office of Local Health (specifically the School Liaisons and prevention team members in the district offices)

What Works

The "Getting to ‘Y’" program is offered by Up For Learning.

Getting to 'Y' is an opportunity for students to take a lead in bringing meaning to their own Youth Risk Behavior Survey data and taking steps to strengthen their school and community based on their findings.

In the fourth year of this project, the University of Vermont conducted an in-depth external evaluation of the YRBS “Getting to Y” initiative, yielding results that show meaningful impact among the participating schools. Dr. Chris Koliba concluded:

  • Students involved in the project perceived that their involvement raised their awareness regarding healthy behavior.
  • There is strong evidence to suggest that the adults who listened to these students were impacted by the evidence and the range of solutions proposed by them. Action plans have been devised in many of the schools to address specific concerns about youth health behavior. The majority of the proposed action items were directed at changes in school practices, be it new health curriculum, more staff supports, or new policies, student projects and clubs.

To read more about the specific work and the strengths and areas of concern students have identified in prior years (Getting to ‘Y’ Newsletters), or to access additional Getting to ‘Y’ tools and resources, visit the Getting to ‘Y’ website.

Action Plan

Schools have begun to organize and host their community dialogue nights at their schools.Schools have been encouraged to coordinate with their Office of Local Health in their area for participation, and to assist in making connections to community partners in order to support the hard work of the students.

Recruitment for fall of the 2015-2016 school year will begin in the spring of 2015. The VDH continues to coordinate with our partners in preparation for this recruitment, and will assist in getting the word out and encouraging participation in Getting to ‘Y’. If there is enough interest, a second training may be offered in the winter.

Notes on Methodology

How we determined the percentage:

The numerator was determined by counting the number of middle schools that participated in Getting to ‘Y’ beginning in the 2011-2012 school year until the present.Prior to February of 2011, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey was administered as one survey for grades 8-12.There are now two separate surveys for grades 6-8 (middle schools), and the 9-12 (high schools).Since Getting to ‘Y’, was only offered in the fall (until the 2013-2014 school year), only middle schools that participated in the training beginning with the 2011-2012 school year would have access to the results of the new grade 6-8 survey, and were included in the numerator.

The denominator was determined from the survey background information on page 15, of the 2013 Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey report.

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