The overwhelming majority of Hopkins students feel safe in school, report that their teachers care, and are abstaining from drugs and alcohol. These findings were revealed in the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey (MSS), a reflection of the overall well-being of our youth. The survey is administered every three years to Minnesota students in grades 5, 8, 9 and 11, and covers a broad array of topics, including school and community, safety, substance use, and mental health. In 2016, 169,000 students participated in the survey statewide.
"The Minnesota Student Survey is an important tool that allows students to anonymously share how they are feeling, and what they are thinking and experiencing," said Holly Magdanz. "By identifying both positive findings and areas of concern, as a community we can better respond to the changing needs of our youth."
The 2016 data from grades 5, 8, 9 and 11 provides many reasons for Hopkins to celebrate including:
- Over 90% of Hopkins students care about doing well in school.
- Hopkins students agree that their teachers care about them.
- The majority of students (over 93% across the grades) feel safe in school. In fact, between 2013 and 2016, all grades surveyed showed an increase in students "strongly agreeing" or "agreeing" that they feel safe at school.
- The majority of Hopkins students are abstaining from marijuana, alcohol and other drugs.
- Since 2001, which is the earliest survey data available, 9th grade substance use for Hopkins has showed impressive and steady declines.
- Past 30-day cigarette use for 9th graders declined from 14% in 2001, to 2% in 2016.
- Past 30-day alcohol use for 9th graders declined from 22% in 2001, to 7% in 2016.
- Past 30-day marijuana use for 9th graders declined from 13% in 2001, to 7% in 2016.
Mental health emerges as a primary concern for students:
- Between 2013 and 2016, the percent of students self-reporting a long-term mental health, behavioral or emotional health problem noticeably increased across 8, 9, and 11th graders. This trend was reflected both at Hopkins and statewide.
- At Hopkins and Minnesota, girls showed noticeably higher rates of mental health concerns than boys across all mental health indicators in the survey.
Additional areas of concern
- E-cigarettes were first added to the survey in 2016, and 14% of 11th graders at Hopkins reported using an e-cig in the past 30 days.
- Distracted driving remains a concern. Of 11th graders who drive at Hopkins, 33% reported they "sometimes" send or read text messages while driving, and 12% reported they "often" or "always" do so.
Mark your calendar - 2016 Minnesota Student Survey: What Hopkins Students are Telling Us
If you would like more in-depth information on the 2016 Minnesota State Survey results, please plan to attend a community presentation and discussion, led by Hopkins One Voice Coalition. The presentation will be held on Thursday, May 11 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. at Hopkins High School in the cafeteria. Questions? Contact One Voice coordinator, Holly Magdanz, at 952-988-4323 or email@example.com.