Student survey reveals frightening statistics
Data shows high numbers of Estacada students have considered suicide
In a survey, about one in five Estacada eighth- and 11th-graders reported seriously considering an attempt on their own lives.
Those numbers are emerging from the 2014 Oregon Student Wellness Survey of the Estacada School District.
Director of Student Services Tina Rhue had other startling statistics to report from the survey, especially on responses geared toward gauging depression among students.
Nearly one in 11 eighth- and 11th-graders reported actually having attempted suicide.
When asked if they had felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row and stopped doing usual activities, 10.3 percent of Estacada sixth-graders, 26.1 percent of Estacada eighth-graders and 33 percent of Estacada 11th-graders said they had.
Just a warning, it kind of seems like its a negative bias, Rhue said before giving a presentation on the survey results during the school board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 11. Its trying to get data on items that are negatively influencing our students. Its not asking about hobbies and friends and sleep overs and things like that.
Rhue explained that across the state sixth-, eighth- and 11th-graders take the Oregon Student Wellness Survey every two years.
Rhue said the survey data did not receive much attention in the district until Marla Stephenson was hired as superintendent.
Stephenson became Estacada School District Superintendent July 1, following the retirement of longtime Superintendent Howard Fetz.
When Marla arrived, everything changed, Rhue said. As I mentioned, this survey was taken in January 2014, nobody really looked at it. Marla came in in July 2014 and took a look at the data and said Oh my, what are we going to do about this data?
Since Stephensons arrival, Rhue said the Wellness Survey results were analyzed at the district cabinet level, included in the districts strategic planning process and led to the updating of the district wellness policy.
Rhue said the policy had previously focused mainly on nutrition, but was expanded to put more emphasis on physical fitness and mental health services.
The district also formed a wellness committee made up of counselors, principals, a school psychologist, a school nurse, Stephenson and community and mental health agencies.
The Wellness Committee will utilize data from the survey and an upcoming district survey on the prevalence of bullying to focus on nutrition, physical fitness and mental health in the schools.
Other results of note from the 2014 Oregon Student Wellness Survey for the Estacada School District include: