He'e Coalition

HE’E Planning Meeting 8/12/2014

August 25, 2014 | Filed Under: HE‘E Meeting Notes, Planning Team Notes



HE’E Planning Meeting

August 12, 2014

The Learning Coalition

9:00-11:00 am



Attendees: Susan Saka (UH), Kash Reid (PPSHI), Kathy Bryant (HEE), Lisa Talaro (TLC), Karen Ginoza (FACE), Mary Weir (FACE), Jennifer Ryan (DOH), Grant Thorton (Hawaii Appleseed Center), Debbie Spencer-Chun (Adult Friends for Youth), Kelly Miyamura (TFA), Amy Asselbaye (BOE), Cheri Nakamura (HEE).



9:00-9:10 Welcome and Announcements




  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

o   Opt Out/Opt In

o   Advocating to BOE

o   Contact at DOE

o   Timeline



Members discussed in depth about some actions the Coalition could take supporting the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). We learned a number of facts regarding the YRBS listed below:


  • There are 43 other states already using the opt-out/passive parental permission process.
  • An “opt out” process for the YRBS gives parents the opportunity to refuse their child’s participation and students are never required to take the survey.
  • The YRBS is an anonymous survey and responses cannot be traced to a particular individual.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires a 60% response rate for weighted and nationally comparable data.
  • In 2011, data was not available for the Big Island because of an insufficient response rate.· YRBS data is used by national, state, and community organizations for funding applications, public relations, formative research, program development, and to monitor youth health trends.
  • Hawaii Administrative Rule, Title 8, Chapter 20, on student examinations, which required parental permission on surveys such as YRBS, was repealed by the Board of Education (BOE) in 2002.


The group decided that an appropriate action by the Coalition would be to draft a letter to the Department of Education to recommend that the procedure of “opt-in” be changed to “opt-out” for the Hawaii School Health Survey, which includes the YRBS.  The reasons include some of the points listed above, that it would be no additional costs or burden for Department to having an opt-out practice, and that information included in YRBS is meaningful to families. The Hawaii School Health Survey will be administered again in the Spring of 2015; therefore, a letter to the DOE in support of this change in practice should be sent sometime in September 2014. Please see draft of letter here.


Because the opt-in/opt-out practice is not a Board of Education policy, it was decided that it was more appropriate to advocate directly to the Department of Education.


In addition to the letter this fall, HE‘E members could advocate to their respective organizations in the early part of 2015 to let their constituents know about the YRBS and that the survey will be administered in schools in the spring.


Following up on another item recently brought up at a previous Planning Meeting, HE’E Staff recently met with the staff at Susannah Wesley Community Center, who will be the implementors of the Ho’opono Mamo project, a new juvenile justice diversion system designed to guide youth away  from the juvenile justice system to a pathway of supportive programs to help them address those issues that may be leading to risky or harmful behavior. For more information about the program click here.  It is a big task for a small staff but they are committed to helping the students get on the right track.


10:30-10:45 Other Business


11:00 Meeting adjourned.