California Student Health Index

Explore Dashboard | See Key Findings | Learn More | Increase Health Equity

California’s Students Need More School-Based Health

California’s students and families are facing some of the toughest challenges we may see in our lifetime. The pandemic laid bare the increasing need for health and mental health supports, as well as the low access to those services for historically marginalized communities.

As the statewide organization leading the movement to put health care in schools, particularly through school-based health centers and wellness centers (SBHCs/WCs), the California School-Based Health Alliance has made available the Student Health Indexnewly updated in 2023 to identify the counties, districts, and schools where new SBHCs will have the greatest return on investment for improving student health and education equity.

The Data Dashboard Is an Advocacy Tool for More SBHCs

To make the Student Health Index more accessible, a dashboard was created that allows users to view and explore the data through a variety of maps and tables. 

The Dashboard updated in 2023 provides a new way to look at health and educational data together.

  • It is a public, interactive mapping tool that spans all large K-12 public schools in the state of California, and allows users to view, download and explore school-level data on health, socioeconomic and school demographics and outcomes
  • It enables the retrieval, visualization, exploration and download of uniformly defined data across California for conditions, school characteristics and risk factors that can be improved through access to school-based health care and have been associated with impacts on educational outcomes.
  • It can be used by school staff, state legislators, parents, and the general public to assess opportunities for expanding school-based health care access in California.

Dashboard User Guide

Click the full screen icon at the bottom right to enlarge the dashboard view.

Why School-Based Health Centers?

SBHCs Are a Proven Approach to Health & Education Equity

The Student Health Index Advances Health & Learning

By identifying where SBHCs will have the most impact for students

The Student Health Index is the first statewide comprehensive analysis to identify the counties, districts, and schools where new SBHCs will have the greatest return on investment for improving student health and education equity.

Key Findings of the Student Health Index

There are counties and districts with significant levels of unmet need

California is 1 of 15 states that does not provide state-level funding and support for SBHCs. Highest need schools are concentrated, especially in rural areas, the Central Valley, and the Inland Empire. Existing SBHCs are located at higher need schools but not consistently at the highest need schools.

Highest need schools serve significantly more students of color than lower need schools

Read more about the methodology.

Take the Next Steps to Building Health & Education Equity

  1. Use the Student Health Index to identify schools in your region that would most benefit from a school-based health and wellness center.
  2. Download our Vision to Reality guide to starting a school-based health and wellness center.
  3. Start planning your school-based health and wellness center.
    • Form a planning committee
    • Conduct a needs assessment 
    • Identify potential partners
    • Brainstorm facility funding sources

Watch Our Release Webinar from 2021