The Arkansas Department of Education, in collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Health and Medicaid in the Schools, selected five Arkansas schools to each receive $540,000 over a five-year period to implement school-based health centers.
The centers will provide health and wellness services to students, staff, and families beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The five schools include:
- Booneville Elementary School in the Booneville School District
- Chicot Elementary School in the Little Rock School District
- Fouke Elementary School in the Fouke School District
- Ida Burns Elementary School in the Conway School District
- Rose Bud Elementary School in the Rose Bud School District
The schools join 31 other schools around the state that have school-based health centers. The centers remove physical and mental health barriers for students by offering these services on campus. The goal is to help students remain healthy, thus, improving academic achievement and reducing the number of absences due to health issues.
“There is a clear, distinct connection between good health and academic achievement,” ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said. “These five schools are providing the necessary services to treat not just academic needs but the needs of the whole child. They are to be commended for taking on this effort and serve as another example of how Arkansas is leading the nation in student-focused education.”
To be selected, applicants undergo a comprehensive, competitive application process, which includes internal and external reviews and an onsite visit.
Those awarded grants partner with local health providers to implement three main components of school-based health centers: physical health services, mental and behavioral health services, and school health outreach programs. Many centers also offer additional services such as oral health and optometry services.