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Madison Metropolitan School District

Dane County Youth Assessment

Dane County school districts will be administering the Dane County Youth Assessment between February 16, 2021 - March 1, 2021. Since 1980, every three years over 20,000 Dane County youth in grades 7-12 are surveyed regarding their opinions, concerns, attitudes, behaviors and experiences to provide educators, community agencies, parents, policy-makers and funding bodies the data needed to inform grant writing, program development and public policy. The last survey was administered in 2018. Results are available at

Surveying our students is more important this year given the prolonged pandemic and the concerns about the impact on student well being and mental health. DCYA data has been used to inform the following community efforts: 

  • School districts throughout the county use the data in classroom discussions, to track youth trends and to add counseling resources to address student mental health needs.
  • Dane County Human Services expanded mental health support to community centers. 
  • The Dane County Homeless Coalition launched a homeless shelter for youth. 
  • United Way of Dane County developed the Achievement Connections initiative with partner school districts to improve high school achievement and graduation rates.
  • The City of Madison uses the data to set funding priorities and launched h an Out-ofSchool Time service initiative. 
  • Dane County uses the data to inform resource allocation and funding priorities. A committee led by the Dane County Youth Commission in partnership with United Way of Dane County, the City of Madison, Public Health Madison & Dane County and every Dane county school districts develop and fund the survey that collects information on the life factors impacting youth including: 
    • How youth spend their time
    • Parents and family
    • Health, nutrition and safety behavior
    • Emotional and mental health
    • Sexual activity (Students who are not sexually active skip these sections) 
    • Drug and alcohol use
    • School experience
    • Peer relations & bullying 

Community relations and support are in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and district policy. Please be advised that: 

  • No student names will be collected. The survey is completely anonymous and confidential.
  • Participation is voluntary. The participation of every student is greatly appreciated. However, if parents prefer that their child not participate, they may opt them out of participating by contacting Mikki Smith at There is no login for the survey, so if parents opt students out, they should inform their students that they have opted them out and that they should not take the survey.
  • Students have the option to opt out of the survey or to skip questions while taking it.

The survey will be administered electronically outside of class time. The window for students to take the assessment remains open until March 1. No one in the school or district will see any individual student responses. 

Survey results will be tabulated by project vendor K12 Associates.

More Information

For more information about the DCYA and to view the 2021 survey, go to the MMSD Office of Assessment Administration website.


East High School Assessment Administrator : Mikki Smith, EHS Assistant Principal,

Dane County Division Administrator of Prevention & Early Intervention, Connie Bettin,, 242-6422

Chair of the Dane County Youth Commission, Meghan Benson,