Assessing student health status and unmet health needs is a critical first step for states that want to provide more Medicaid services in schools. Likewise, the environments and assets of schools should be assessed as a first step toward promoting safe and supportive environments. Such assessments help state and local policymakers make informed decisions to most effectively impact student health and well-being. Data assessment tools exist across all levels of government but are often siloed within the education, health care, mental health and public health sectors. States can align these assessments to better understand the range of services and supports already being provided in schools, the areas of greatest unmet student need, and existing workforce capacities and service delivery models operating in their communities.
Similarly, evaluation is critical. As states and districts work to improve student health and school environments, ongoing evaluation is necessary to track progress and continuously improve efforts.