A Healthier Wisconsin

Developing a School Health Services Assessment Tool

Increasing the competency and capacity of local school health services systems

Full Project Name:Developing a School Health Services Assessment Tool & Related ResourcesPrimary Community Organization:Wisconsin Public Health AssociationPrimary Academic Partner:Marie Wolff, PhD, Family and Community MedicineAward Amount:$740,963.00
Award Date
Project Duration:60 months

Project Description Narrative:

The equation is simple: Healthy child = healthy learner = academic achievement. It is clear that poor child health negatively impacts school learning and academic achievement. Those who experience poor health as children have significantly poorer health outcomes as adults, as well as lower education attainment and lower social status. Families incur the costs of poor health not only in dollars, but in terms of stress, depression, fatigue, reduced productivity at work, and lost work days.

Wisconsin school nursing services are ranked 41st out of 50 states. With limited health expertise and resources currently available, Wisconsin's school district administrators, school board representatives, and school nurses lack a quality assessment tool to critically look at the quality of care provided to children and youth in the school setting.

The goal of this project is to increase the competency and capacity of local school health services systems by creating, piloting, and evaluating a school health services quality assessment tool which will be complemented by resources, templates and educational materials to address priorities identify through the assessment results.

Community partners: Wisconsin Association of Local Health Departments and Boards (WALHDAB), Wisconsin Association of School Nurses (WASN), Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH)

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Developed and implemented a quality assessment tool, piloting the tool at 12 sites and using pilot feedback to revise the tool before disseminating it statewide in both 2012 and 2015
  • Developed evidence-based school health resources, using an evaluation of gaps and needed resources to create nine resources that were tailored to the school environment. The resources were piloted at 15 sites statewide
  • Evaluted assessment results, obtaining completed assessments from 117 school districts in 2012 and 121 school districts in 2015, documenting improvements in almost all of the school health services areas and disseminating the quality assessment aggregate results across the state
  • Refined and finalized the quality assessment tool and resources, successfully migrating them for accessibility and sustainability beyond the funding period by partnering with the Wisconsin Association of School Nurses to place sample policies and procedures on their website to assure statewide access for schools and nurses, as well as partnering with the Department of Public Instruction to create a new webpage for school nursing procedures and unlicensed assistive personnel training
  • Disseminated project results and resources, recieving requests for use of the resources in 20 states and three countries
  • Achieved publication in the National Association for School Nurses journal

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