The Center for School, Health and Education advances school-based health care as a comprehensive strategy for preventing school dropout and improving graduation rates for K-12 students. School-based health centers have the capacity to benefit all students in a school by addressing barriers to learning.
So many things in a student’s life can affect his or her ability to learn. Some children and teens face hunger or homelessness. Others struggle with a myriad of other stressors that accompany them to school each day – or may even emanate from an unhealthy school climate. Many students today are confronted with bullying and don’t feel safe at school or in their communities. Still others grapple with chronic illness. Educational success starts with healthy students who are ready to learn. Even the best teachers and schools cannot overcome illness, fear and distress.
In addition to serving as a doctor’s office right in the school, school-based health centers are catalysts for developing prevention programs and implementing them school-wide; improving the well-being and educational success of all students.
For example, school-based health centers have helped create policies and programs that:
- Reduce bullying
- Improve access to healthier food in schools
- Address depression and prevent suicide
- Prevent teen pregnancy
- Create a learning-friendly climate school wide
- Reduce violence and help students deal with the aftermath of violence
…and whatever else the student population needs to stay in school, do better academically and thrive.