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California Essentials for Childhood Initiative (CA)

The California Essentials for Childhood Initiative uses a public health and collective impact approach to align and enhance collaborative efforts to promote safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for children, youth and families through systems, policy and social norms change.

Survey: Kids say schools are getting safer, but bullying more common []


Fewer students are using drugs and alcohol, but more feel harassed and bullied, a new health survey found.

The California Healthy Kids Survey, done every two years since 1985, asked more than 36,000 middle and high school students across the state about campus safety, substance use, mental health and other issues.

The California Department of Education and the California Department of Health Care Services coordinated the report, which takes a random sample of seventh-, ninth- and 11th-grade students. The results were released last week.

Highlights include a drop in alcohol and marijuana use since the previous survey in 2011-13. Alcohol consumption, binge drinking and marijuana use among 11th-graders dropped by 4 points.

Fewer students in all grades reported seeing someone carrying a weapon on school property. Instances of fighting and the number of students who felt afraid of being beaten up also decreased.

The improvement in school safety “was striking to me,” said Susan Levine, director of pupil and administrative services for the Riverside County Office of Education.

Levine and other educators attribute the drop to Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, an alternative method of discipline that aims to keep kids from missing classes. Many Inland districts have adopted the approach in recent years.

[For more of this story, written by Stephen Wall, go to]

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