Chilliwack school district urged to join McCreary study

Chilliwack’s front-line youth workers implored the school district to participate in an adolescent health survey.

Chilliwack’s front-line youth workers implored the school district to participate in the next McCreary Centre Society’s adolescent health survey.

At Tuesday night’s school board meeting, Youth Services director Tim Bohr and Dan Bibby of Ministry of Children and Family Development said the survey’s results will provide agencies like theirs hard numbers to better help at-risk youth.

They also noted it would help the school district and community as a whole understand where their teens are in terms of sexual activity, substance abuse, emotional and physical abuse, anxiety, and other areas of concern.

Every four years the McCreary Centre Society, a non-profit, non-government agency, conducts an adolescent health survey that anonymously questions youth in Grades 7-12 about physical and emotional health, including questions of sex, drugs, alcohol and cigarette use.

The survey is a pen and paper questionnaire conducted by a public health nurse.

Individual school data is not published, but is released to specific school districts for their own use. The only data that is published is a collective of the region.

Chilliwack school district opted out of participating in the 2003 and 2008 survey.

Bohr and Bibby hope this year will be different.

“This is a huge benefit for our community,” said Bohr. “It would provide us with empirical data specific to Chilliwack.” Right now, “we don’t have hard numbers, and I would submit to you there is a large gap into what we don’t know. Without hard numbers for Chilliwack, we can’t [address the needs] without 100 per cent accuracy.”

As well, without hard numbers, they are at a disadvantage for accessing government funding when competing against other nearby communities like Abbotsford, Mission and Langley which have participated in the surveys.

The findings of the survey are often used by government agencies to determine funding for programs.

“Any advantage we can have the better as we try to compete against other communities for funding,” added Bibby. “It is really important to have a snapshot of the community so we can provide the best services and programs for our kids.”

Some trustees, however, have reservations.

Trustee Silvia Dyck was concerned students wouldn’t respond to the questions accurately, skewing the results.

Trustee Heather Maahs was concerned with the line of questioning.

“I question the appropriateness of some of the questions being asked, and whether or not they would plant seeds into students,” said Maahs. “I know the questions are quite explicit in a number of areas and I have a problem with that.”

Both Dyck and Maahs said they would require seeing a copy of the survey prior to agreeing to participate.

According to Bohr and Bibby, the McCreary Centre Society has said it would be available to trustees for further consultation.

The next survey will be conducted in 2013.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack is going to be renamed

Street name will have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack removes recognition of racist

Chilliwack Fire Department on scene at a house fire on Boundary Road and No. 4 Road on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (David Seltenrich/ Facebook)
Fire crews respond to house fire on border of Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Flames, dark smoke reported coming from front of house when crews arrived

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

Pig races at the 147th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 10, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack Fair plans in-person event for 149th annual exhibition

Will be first large-scale, in-person event in over a year, provided regulations continue as planned

Vivian Le is one of two local recipients of a Beedie Luminaries scholarship.
Chilliwack students overcome adversity to win Beedie Luminaries scholarships

Sardis secondary’s Vivian Le and G.W. Graham’s Alisa Gusakova are among 112 students receiving money

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read