Profiles Overview

What is the School Health Profiles?

Profiles surveys are conducted every even-numbered year by education and health agencies. Middle and high school principals and lead health education teachers respond to the surveys.

Profiles monitors the current status of:
  • School health education requirements and content,
  • Physical education and physical activity,
  • Practices related to bullying and sexual harassment,
  • School health policies related to tobacco-use prevention and nutrition,
  • School-based health and mental health services,
  • Family engagement and community involvement, and
  • School health coordination.

How is Profiles Conducted?

Profiles is conducted among a sample of secondary schools in a state, school district, territory, or tribe. Profiles data are collected from self-administered questionnaires at each sampled school.

In 2022, 44 states, 28 school districts, 2 territories, and 1 tribe obtained data representative of their jurisdiction. In these sites, data were weighted to represent the population if at least 70% of the principals or lead health education teachers in the sample completed the questionnaire or if responding schools did not differ significantly from nonresponding schools. One state that did not meet either of these criteria did not have its data weighted. Unweighted data represent only the schools in which the principals or teachers completed the questionnaire.

  • Across states, the sample sizes of the principal surveys ranged from 63 to 481 and response rates ranged from 26% to 100%.
  • Across school districts, the sample sizes ranged from 12 to 307 and response rates ranged from 70% to 100%.
  • The sample sizes of the lead health education teacher surveys across states ranged from 56 to 501 and response rates ranged from 24% to 99%.
  • Across school districts, the sample sizes ranged from 10 to 249 and the response rates ranged from 58% to 100%.

Read more

  • More information about survey methods, including the calculation of nationwide estimates, is available here.
  • Complete information about response rates and sample sizes is available in Table 1.

What Kind of Data Does Profiles Provide?

Profiles provides data on the following areas:

  • Sexual health education,
  • Safe and supportive school environments,
  • Sexual health services,
  • Health services for students with chronic conditions,
  • Supportive school nutrition environments, and
  • Comprehensive school physical activity programs.

Profiles results show the progress in the use of school policies and practices to help improve the health of school-aged youth.

Profiles data reflect the percentage of secondary schools in each participating state, school district, territory, or tribe that have a particular policy or practice in place. Nationwide estimates, calculated by combining and reweighting state data, are also available.

Why Are Profiles Results Important And How Can They Be Used?

Profiles results are meant to be used by leaders and decision makers, especially in schools, school districts, and state education agencies to understand the gaps in policies and practices that can impact student health and academic performance.

Identifying gaps in school health policies and practices supports local discussions and decisions about needed changes and monitors those changes over time.

Used with CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS) data, Profiles data can provide a powerful approach for decision makers to monitor the impact of their decisions over time.

How Can Policymakers And Community Leaders Use Profiles Results?

School-based surveillance, provided by Profiles, helps monitor health policies and practices and can guide future decision-making. Policymakers and community leaders can use Profiles results to:

  • Promote awareness and bring the community together to address gaps in the health and education needs of students.
  • Develop policies, practices, and programs that protect and support student health and provide needed services.
  • Inform the efforts of coalitions or task forces in local communities coordinating activities to address youth risk behaviors and experiences.

How Are Profiles Results Used By Education Agencies And Public Health Partners?

Education and health officials use Profiles results to

  • Describe school health policies and practices and compare them across jurisdictions,
  • Identify professional development needs,
  • Plan and monitor programs,
  • Support health-related policies and legislation,
  • Seek funding, and
  • Garner support for future surveys.