Dear GCS Parents:

In an effort to learn more about the well-being of their students, Gowanda Central School will be administering the Our Youth, Our Future survey to students in 6th-12th grades.  Developed by prevention specialists at Colorado State University (CSU) who are nationally recognized for their work in the drug and alcohol field, the survey has been given to students over the past 40 years.

This is a research study funded by the National Institutes of Health.  The Our Youth, Our Future survey asks about students’ attitudes and behaviors regarding drugs and alcohol and factors that may be related to their use. There are no questions dealing with sexual behavior, suicide, abortion, or sensitive parental behaviors. The survey is available from the school should you wish to view it.

The survey is voluntary, anonymous and confidential. Students will be told that they do not have to answer any or all of the questions, and they can stop taking the survey at any point. Your child’s name or other identifying information will not be asked so there is no way for anyone to know how he or she answered the questions, and teachers will not see students’ answers. There are no known risks or direct benefits to your child as a participant in this study.  While the level of risk is minimal, they may become uncomfortable with some questions, but they are reminded that the survey is voluntary, and they may choose not to answer any question. In 40 years, no students have had their survey information revealed to others, and there have been no reports of students becoming upset by the questions. In the unlikely event that your child should become upset, the teacher will take appropriate action to assist your child. The survey takes 30 minutes or less to complete and will be administered during one class period.

Your school’s administrators will receive a report, prepared by CSU, summarizing the school’s results. Principals and other school personnel often use the report to identify emerging substance use issues and to learn more about student perceptions of school climate and students’ aspirations and goals. Thus, your child’s participation in the survey will help your school better understand students’ drug and alcohol use and therefore find the best way to help reduce use. Having as many students as possible take this survey ensures more accurate information on which the school can base their prevention programs and policies. We will not release the name of your school, school district, or community to anyone except in this report to the school. All information presented in the findings of this research study will be anonymous, combined data from many schools where the identity of any student, school, or community cannot be identified.

This is an informed passive consent form. Informed passive consent means that you have been notified that the survey is taking place and of your parental right to refuse your child participation. And that unless you contact the school stating that you do not want your student to participate, that your student will be asked to take the survey. As a parent, you have the right to not have your child take the survey.

There are two ways you may withdraw your child from participating in the survey:

  1. You may call or email the:
  1. You may sign this notice and send it back to the school.

If you opt your child out of the survey, your child will be given an alternative activity.

If you have questions concerning the project, you may contact Dr. Randall Swaim (970-491-6961; or Dr. Linda Stanley (970-491-1765; If you have questions about the survey process, you may contact Allison Burford (970-491-3895; If you have questions about your student’s rights as a volunteer, you may contact the CSU Institutional Review Board at or 970-491-1553.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation.



Randall Swaim, Ph.D.   Linda R. Stanley, Ph.D.

Principal Investigators




If you do not want your child to take the Our Youth, Our Future survey, you can call or email the school contact listed above, or you may return this slip to the school.



________________________________               _______________________

Signature of parent or guardian                        Date




Please print your child’s name


Click here for a pdf copy of the parent letter

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