The State of Iowa and County-level reports are designed to help state- and community-level planners identify youth development-related needs, develop relevant programs and assess the outcomes of those programs. These data can help us better understand our youth and their needs. They can help us assess the strengths and weaknesses of our schools, families and communities from the young person’s perspective. In addition, the data can support funding applications and other funding efforts for a wide variety of programs.
The scope of the youth survey differs slightly each survey year, although the basic questions remain consistent throughout. Beginning in 1999, participation was sought for all 6th, 8th and 11th graders. Starting in 2002, participation was also sought from all non-public schools in the state. Beginning in 2005, the survey was solely collected online. Beginning in 2008, the IYS moved to a two-year schedule instead of being administered every three years.
It is important to acknowledge that participating schools and districts change from year to year. County reports, and to a lesser extent the state report, are affected by changing participation patterns.