If you’ve had a chance to hang around with any of us at the Community Foundation, you know we’re big fans of using data to inform decisions. Good, bad, or ugly, numbers can tell us where we are as a community and help us track whether or not we’re moving in a direction we want to go.

Earlier this year, the Boyertown Area School District released the results of a Student Health Risk Behavior Survey it conducted in 2011. The survey asked Boyertown students in grades 8, 10 and 12 about their actions related to a variety of health issues like exercise, alcohol use, and depression. The survey was conducted by the Weller Health Education Center, and funded by the Community Foundation’s Boyertown Area Grantmaking Program.

It took a while for the school district to release the results, although the report had been ready for months. There was a link to the report on the district’s home page for a while, but after a ten-minute search through the site’s many pages today I couldn’t find it. Fortunately, we have survey on the “reports page” of our website in two downloadable files.

As you read through the survey results, you’ll find some good news and some not so good news. Articles in the Reading Eagle, the Pottstown Mercury and the Boyertown Times summarized the findings for the community.

The survey is a snapshot of the health issues faced by the average Boyertown teenager. For the parents and administrators in the Boyertown Area School District, the survey results can be used to drive interventions where appropriate, and to encourage positive behaviors.

We intend to keep the link to the survey up on our reports page for anyone who needs it now, or to measure progress in the future.