SBHC Planning

There are many ways to start a school-based health center (SBHC) or to expand your school health program to include medical, mental health, or dental services. You may want to start by reviewing these Key Steps in Planning an SBHC. Other resources, including our comprehensive start-up toolkit From Vision to Reality, are highlighted below.

For additional start-up information and tools, see:

Resources for Educators | Resources for Health Providers | Partner Collaboration | Funding Sources

Finally, remember that we offer individualized technical assistance and workshops to help schools and providers work together to start SBHCs or expand school health services. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you get started!


From Vision to Reality: How to Build a School Health Center from the Ground Up

This toolkit on starting a school-based health center is a comprehensive resource for anyone seeking to expand health services for students. We hope that it will grow initial sparks of interest into full-fledged school health centers, regardless of whether it’s a school nurse, community clinic, school administrator, or mental health provider who spearheads the process. This toolkit covers many issues commonly of interest to those starting an SBHC, including community planning, youth engagement, health center structure and staffing, school health center funding, school health center licensing and regulations in California, operations, facilities, and evaluation. It also contains sample job descriptions, clinic floor plans, consent forms, surveys and other resources that will help make your vision a reality!

Guidelines for California School Health Centers

These guidelines were developed by the California School-Based Health Alliance in a process towards establishing certification standards for school health centers. While they are not authorized as standards now, these guidelines offer excellent service parameters for new school health centers, or those expanding/revising their procedures or scope of service. There are guidelines for all SBHCs relating to access to care, school-community integration, and operating procedures, and specific guidelines for centers providing different types of clinic services: medical, behavioral health, and dental care.

School-Based Health Center Blueprint

This online resource for members of the national School-Based Health Alliance provides a comprehensive set of tools for starting an SBHC and establishing initial operations. Topics include planning and evaluation, communications, facilities, fiscal management, management information systems, practice compliance, human resources, care management, business operations, and advocacy.