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.

Featured Resources

resources State Strategies for Promoting Children’s Preventive Services

NASHP's maps highlights state strategies for promoting child health, including managed care performance measures and improvement projects, and other metrics and incentives in Medicaid.

resources Adverse Childhood Experiences: Primary Prevention

This brief highlights examples of primary prevention strategies, including building skills and promoting social norms for positive parenting, strengthening economic supports for families, and providing quality education and enrichment early in life.

resources Examining Chronic Absence through a Student Health Lens

This policy update highlights actions state education decision-makers can take to address the health-related causes of chronic absence.

resources Innovation and Opportunities to Address Social Determinants of Health in Medicaid Managed Care

This report outlines the opportunities for managed care to address the social determinants of health, provides examples of state-led initiatives and health plan best practices, and reviews the barriers and challenges.

resources Policy and Support Frameworks for Using Chronic Absence as a School Quality Measure in ESSA

This presentation offers a framework to help states assess the impact of choices made regarding chronic absence indicators under ESSA.

resources Screening for Social Needs

This resource provides an overview of incorporating screening for social needs into the fabric of the health system. It highlights state-level best practices and focuses on how to select a screening tool and use the data gathered from the tool.

resources State Improvement Projects, Performance Measures & Incentives Promoting Children’s Preventive Services

NASHP developed a chart outlining state strategies for promoting child health, including managed care performance measures and improvement projects, and other metrics and incentives in Medicaid.

resources Using Needs Assessments to Connect Learning + Health

This guide is intended to highlight the ways that school needs assessments required by ESSA can be a valuable tool in identifying, understanding and addressing health conditions that contribute to poor academic performance.

resources Community Prevention and Wellness: Addressing the Social Determinants of Health

This presentation highlights how one county is seeking to address the social determinants of health by engaging school districts.