Superintendent’s Memo #225-11

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

August 19, 2011

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Middle and High School Youth Surveys to Assess Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Regarding Tobacco Use, Nutrition, and Physical Activity

In the fall of 2011, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), in collaboration with the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), will administer surveys to assess knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding tobacco use, nutrition, and physical activity, as well as general health indicators among middle and high school students.  The random survey sample, determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will include an estimated 6,000 middle and high school students. Approximately 300 classrooms will be surveyed.  Each survey is designed to be completed in 45 minutes.  All surveys will be anonymous and schools and divisions will not be identified in the subsequent reports.  A classroom teacher or other school personnel may administer the surveys, or a survey administrator will be provided.

Your assistance in allowing the surveys to be administered in your school division is appreciated.  The data obtained will:

Virginia Commonwealth University will contact the school division’s superintendent if a school is selected as part of the statewide random sample.  As an added service, school divisions may also elect to contract separately with VCU to expand the size of the sample to collect their own separate division-level data.  To request a sample of the surveys, or to obtain additional information, please contact Dr. Mary Moore, coordinator for the youth surveys, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 827-4226.