Teachers, administrators, school board members or other educators are often the drivers in bringing more health services to schools. This section is designed to help you get started in this important endeavor!
There are many paths to developing or expanding your school’s health services or center, and there is no one “right” way. We suggest that you begin by considering the following questions:
- What is your school doing well?
- What do your students need that your school doesn’t currently offer?
- How can you build on existing programs, staff expertise, and established partnerships?
Key Start-Up Activities
Below, you will find a list of key start-up activities that have helped many schools and districts develop strong, sustainable school health programs. These start-up activities can happen in different orders, depending upon your school’s context and resources. You may also want to start by reviewing these Key Steps in Planning an SBHC. For detailed information and additional considerations, see the California School Health Centers Association’s From Vision to Reality: How to Build a School Health Center from the Ground Up toolkit.
- Engage youth, families, and community in assessing needs, identifying resources and planning services.
- Identify partner agencies to provide medical, mental health, oral health, and other services.
- Establish a mechanism for coordination of services between agencies, including MOUs.
- Make a plan for building, purchasing, or renovating the necessary facilities.
- Work with partners to find funding.