2020 Data Collection Suspension Due to the COVID -19 pandemic, the data collection for the DSS was temporarily suspended. This suspension resulted in a gap in DSS data for the 2020 survey year. However, due to an early administration that started in the 2019-2020 school year for the 8th grade survey, researchers were able to collect enough surveys in the 2019-2020 school year to report on 8th grade data. This does not allow for data exploration, but only for that specific grade. Data on 5th and 11th grade students for the 2020 school year will not be available.
2021 Change in Administration & Response Rate In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the remote learning policies adopted by Delaware schools, the DSS was converted to an online format in lieu of the traditional paper and pencil format. Districts and Schools could choose to participate using either the online format or paper and pencil format. The majority of the 2021 DSS data was collected via an online survey platform Qualtrics. Both formats have the same questions and do not collect personal identifying information. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures, and changes in the approach to the DSS administration, users of the 2021 DSS data should note that response rates are lower than average. As a result, some changes observed in trend data among the 2020 and 2021 data may be partially influenced by these external events and the change in response rate
Since 1995, the Center for Drug and Health Studies at the University of Delaware has administered an annual survey to public school students about alcohol, tobacco and drug use. The Delaware School Survey is an annual survey of 5th, 8th and 11th grade public school student in Delaware. This study is the continuation of a survey that was first administered to Delaware students in Spring, 1989. Since 2004, the Delaware School Survey has been jointly sponsored by the Delaware Legislature through the Delaware Health Fund and Prevention Block Grant funding. It has become a valuable tool in assessing trends of questions on school behavior, health habits and parental interaction. In recent years, the study has shown an increased interest in safety, parental involvement, educational needs and healthy lifestyles.