CalSCHLS participation is voluntary (except for districts that receive Tobacco Use and Prevention Education (TUPE) grants). The California Department of Education has established the following requirements for using this state-subsidized system in order to ensure common administration conditions, protection of human subjects, and representative, comparable local results for key indicators that can be aggregated to the county and state levels, as discussed further in the Frequently Asked Questions:
- Minimally conduct the CHKS in grades 7 and 9. Grades 5 and 11 are also recommended. The staff and parent surveys should be administered in all grades to have confidence that the data are representative.
- Administer the survey to all students in selected grades or a randomly-selected representative sample.
- Administer the Core CHKS Module in all grades in which the survey is conducted. The year following administration of the full Core, the Mini-Core, a shorter version focused on LCAP priorities, may be administered.
- Supplemental modules can be included in the survey at the district's discretion.
- Administer the surveys, in print or online, using the system operated by WestEd so that the data are maintained in a common system.
- Sign a Memorandum of Understanding that specifies the responsibilities of the district and that of the CalSCHLS Regional Centers and fill out a Registration Form.
- Obtain parental consent for student survey participation, meet specified human subject protections, and keep the data confidential. Active Consent must be used for all administrations of the CHKS in grades below 7th.