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Madison Metropolitan School District

DCYA Information for Families

Below you will find information about the 2021 Dane County Youth Assessment (DCYA) survey.

What is the DCYA?

Since 1980, the Dane County Youth Commission has coordinated a survey of middle and high school youth throughout Dane county to collect data on health, mental health, social and behavioral trends. Project partners include the United Way of Dane County, Public Health of Madison & Dane County, the Dane County Department of Human Services, the City of Madison & Dane County school districts.

The survey is conducted every 3 years to keep pace with the rate of community change. The survey is administered electronically to increase reliability and to provide results and useable data in a timely manner.

In 2018, over 20,000 youth completed the survey providing valuable information about their experiences at home, in school and in their communities. Survey topics include alcohol/drug use, level of school engagement, use of free time, health and nutrition, mental health, family relationships, and risk behaviors.

DCYA data offers a comprehensive profile of the needs and interests of Dane County youth that subsequently informs program development, policymaking and grant applications by schools, funding partners, local stakeholders and researchers. The Youth Commission will continue to promote the wide use of the data for the betterment of the community. The 2018 DCYA Executive Summary, middle and high school summary reports are available at:

Who uses the information?

The information is used by many school and community groups:

  • MMSD

  • The United Way of Dane County

  • Public Health of Madison and Dane County

  • The City of Madison

  • and others...

Common Questions:

Below are a list of commonly asked questions and the answers:

FAQs in English

FAQs en español

Family Letters:

A letter to families:

What questions are on the survey?

The actual survey questions can be viewed using these links:

For further questions:

If you have further questions, please contact Tim Peterson, Director of Assessment at