Integration Tools & Resources

Why Is Integration So Important?

Your school health services and school-based health center and wellness center (SBHC/WC) programs are most effective and sustainable when they are well integrated into your school community. This integration serves as a foundation for close partnership with school personnel, so school health programs better support student attendance, positive climate, and academic success.

Integration is not easy, and does not just happen one time, such as when an SBHC/WC or health services program starts. Instead, the collaborative work between health providers and school personnel is an ongoing process. It is a two-way street, involving a commitment from both the health and education sectors to communicate and work over time to ensure that the school’s health program is not isolated from the school’s educational program.

Download Our School Health Integration Quick Guide

Core Principles of Integration

In collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District, Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, and the national School-Based Health Alliance, we determined that the core principles of integration found below capture key aspects and levels of integration we would like to see in an ideal school health program or SBHC/WC.

In a well-integrated school health program, school and health partners:

  1. Develop mutually supportive policies and procedures that advance student health and learning
  2. Adopt school-wide strategies and frameworks that support healthy behavior and academics and help at-risk students
  3. Establish collaborative systems and structures to plan programs and direct resources to at-risk students and their families
  4. Implement school/health programs and services that support school goals, and target student populations of concern
  5. Participate in school and health program leadership, decision making, and advocacy
  6. Utilize education and health data to drive policy and program development
  7. Engage in joint resource development to support health program and school priority programs and services

Use our Integration Quick Guide to outline goals for each principle you plan to work on.