High-quality school health services improve student health and support academic success. However, school districts face many challenges in seeking to provide optimal health services to students. The Enhancing School Health Services through Training, Education, Assistance, Mentorship, and Support (TEAMS) project helps school districts to overcome these barriers by engaging in a systematic, planned process to improve their health services.
Over five years, thirty school districts from across the country participated in the project, which was supported by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Districts assembled three-member teams including a district health services representative, health department partner, and physician partner. The teams were guided through a process to:
The TEAMS project was built on the rationale that strengthening school health services improves the health of students and leads to better educational outcomes, that schools provide a key point of access for health care for many children, and that children benefit from a coordinated system in which school health services, health departments, and medical providers work together to optimize care.
The focus of the TEAMS project is school health services (often referred to as nursing services), defined as services provided by the school district to assess, protect, and promote student health, such as management of chronic and acute conditions, preventive services, and emergency care. While the project materials can be used for school-based health centers as well as coordinated school health and wellness initiatives, the focus is on the services provided across the district by school nurses, physicians, and other health professionals, as well as the policies, protocols, and infrastructure that support the delivery of those services.