Integrating healthcare at school

Summary

Avondale Elementary School District (AESD) and Bayless Integrated Healthcare created a partnership that fuses education and wellness initiatives into a comprehensive program that addresses the emotional, mental and physical needs of students and families, ultimately boosting attendance and students’ ability to learn. Successful implementation of the partnership, which includes having clinical behavioral therapists embedded in schools, stems from AESD’s close ties to and understanding of the community it serves. Engaging empathy, developing authentic relationships and finding creative ways to meet the needs of families and students was essential. An evidence-based plan to address chronic absenteeism is now an innovative collaboration between forward-thinking education and health-care institutions.

Reflection questions

  1. Why is this story an example of Principled Innovation?
  2. What are examples of moral, civic, intellectual and performance assets in the way AESD approached meeting the needs of families and students?
  3. What role does school leadership play in this Principled Innovation? How might the character assets of a school leader affect the school culture?
  4. Would providing healthcare in schools be as effective without developing authentic relationships between educators, wellness coaches and families?
  5. What are possible unintended consequences of integrating healthcare in schools?
  6. In what ways might this model for integrated healthcare contribute to the flourishing of students and the community?