Development of SHARP

The three student health surveys sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) were administered independently prior to 2010. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) had typically been done in the spring of even calendar years. The Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) had been done in the spring of odd calendar years. The Nebraska Risk and Protective Factor Student Survey (NRPFSS) was previously done in the fall of odd calendar years. Schools were asked for their cooperation in administering surveys three out of every four semesters.

NDE and NDHHS officials initiated discussions regarding a change in survey coordination in the Spring of 2007. These discussions were prompted by concerns about multiple disruptions of school schedules, lingering confusion and competition among the surveys, and poor survey participation in recent years. In addition, school officials indicated that they were feeling pressure regarding time and assessment requirements and state officials were presented with a great challenge in regard to health planning evaluation and the ability to secure new funds.

NDE and NDHHS formed an internal school survey work group and then formed a statewide school survey advisory committee that met for the first time in March of 2008. Internal school survey work group meetings were ongoing and statewide school survey advisory committee follow-up meetings occurred in June of 2008 and July of 2009. State officials also requested feedback from middle and high school principals via a web-based questionnaire in April of 2008.

SHARP (Student Health and Risk Prevention) emerged as the result of many hours of discussion and idea sharing. SHARP is the umbrella uniting the YRBS, YTS, and NRPFSS. During the fall of 2010, the ONLY three student health surveys endorsed by NDE and NDHHS were administered at the same time for the first time. The fourth administration under SHARP will take place this fall (2016).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) draws the public high school sample for the YRBS. Following that selection, the CDC draws the public high school sample for the YTS. If larger schools are selected for both the YRBS and YTS, care will be taken to assure that no one classroom would be asked to complete both surveys. Since the NRPFSS is a census survey, all public and private schools housing 8th, 10th, and/or 12th grades are eligible to participate. In the event that a school wants to participate in the NRPFSS and has been selected for the YRBS and/or the YTS, all surveys could be administered on the same day or alternate days could be chosen.

The Bureau of Sociological Research (BOSR) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln serves as the contractor for SHARP data collection and standard report development.  BOSR has served as the contractor since the initiation of SHARP.