School Districts

Resources for School Districts

This is intro content about the role that school districts play. We have resources for school districts about health services, chronic absenteeism, school improvement plans and school food.

Health Services

Ensuring students in your district are enrolled in Medicaid and have access to the school health services they need are key strategies to supporting student success.

School Medicaid Guidance: What Advocates and State Policymakers Need to Know

October 2023 | This brief answers key questions about the school Medicaid guidance released in 2023 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It highlights what policymakers and advocates need to know — and how to get involved — to ensure states are best positioned to leverage federal opportunities to increase children’s access to the services they need.

Download PDF   Read More

A Guide to Expanding Medicaid-Funded School Health Services

March 2022 | This Guide provides background on school-based Medicaid and outlines various opportunities to advance state policy changes required to access additional federal funds. It is designed to support everyone working to expand access to school health services, including school districts, state education and Medicaid agencies, school health providers, public health professionals and advocates. All of these stakeholders share a common goal: improve student health and educational outcomes.

Download PDF   Read More

Medicaid 101 for School Superintendents

March 2019 | This brief explores what Medicaid is, what it covers—in and out of school—and how school districts can leverage Medicaid to enhance school health services.

Download PDF   Read More



Chronic Absenteeism

Taking action to address health-related chronic absenteeism can have a powerful impact on students’ academic success and build the foundation for healthy, successful lives. Chronic absenteeism can be an important measure of how schools are supporting student health and wellness. Chronic absence rates are now included in school report cards that states release annually.

Addressing the Health-Related Causes of Chronic Absenteeism: A Toolkit for Action

This document focuses on providing educators, particularly school district decision-makers, with knowledge and practical guidance for creating meaningful change to address health-related chronic absenteeism.

Download PDF   Read More

School Health and Chronic Absence Diagnostic Tool

March 2019 | This tool is intended to help school districts identify and address the health-related causes of chronic absenteeism. This version was developed for use in California but includes information that can be used by districts in other states and can serve as a template for states to create a similar tool for districts in their state.

Download PDF   Read More

Addressing Chronic Absenteeism Webinar

This webinar was directed at Chicago educators and highlights the causes of and strategies for mitigating chronic absenteeism. All schools can learn from the ideas presented.

Watch this video



School Improvement Plans

A school improvement plan sets up the priorities, goals and action plan for a school. Including health and wellness in this plan is one of the most effective ways to ensure a school is meeting the health and wellness needs of its students and to further current initiatives.

Integrating Health and Wellness into a School Improvement Plan

This webinar provides tips for engaging in an authentic school improvement planning process that involves a variety of stakeholders and practical ways you can integrate student health and wellness in your school improvement plan. The webinar is geared toward a Chicago audience but has relevant information for all schools.

Watch this video

How to Integrate Health and Wellness Goals into a Continuous Improvement Work Plan

This toolkit lays out a simple framework to assist schools in incorporating health and wellness into their school improvement plans—and ensure all students have the opportunity to be the best learners they can be.

Download PDF   Read More

A Guide for Incorporating Health and Wellness into School Improvement Plans

This document from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors provides a guide for addressing the needs of the whole child through school improvement plans. Alex Mays, HSC’s Senior National Program Director, served as an adviser on the project.

Download PDF   Read More



School Food

Healthy meals support schools’ core mission of education, especially when it comes to boosting students’ concentration, focus and cognitive function. Nutritious school food also contributes to a culture of wellness at school and can increase school connectedness and reinforce to children, families and community that students’ health and well-being are valued.

Ingredient Guide for Better School Food Purchasing

This guide from School Food Focus is a resource for school food leaders and manufacturers alike who are committed to improving the overall quality, nutritional value, and safety of food provided to all students in every school. It highlights unwanted ingredients to eliminate, or those to watch out for, as new food products are developed and others are modified.

Download PDF   Read More

Chicago Public Schools’ Pathways to Excellence in School Nutrition

This plan documents and make publicly accessible the district’s high school meal nutrition standards and health promoting initiatives and outline an action plan to provide healthy school food to all CPS students. This strategic plan was created in collaboration with the CPS School Food Advisory group co-convened by Healthy Schools Campaign.

Download PDF   Read More