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It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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School Health Program

Contact the School Health Services Program

In cooperation with the Department of Education, the School Health Services Program provides the services mandated in Florida Statute sections 381.0056, 381.0057, and 402.3026.  School health services are intended to minimize health barriers to learning for public school students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.  To help ensure the provision of safe and appropriate county-level school health services, the Department of Health School Health Program office provides funding, technical assistance, and oversight of health services provided in Florida's public schools.  State funding for the school health services program is supplemented by funding from local school districts and community partners and consists of three components:  Basic School Health Services, Comprehensive School Health Services, and Full Service Schools.

Basic School Health Services:

These services are mandated by Florida Statute section 381.0056 to promote student health through a variety of preventive and day-to-day health services to students in the public school system.  All 67 counties provide Basic school health services.  The Basic school health services program is the bedrock of school health services in Florida and provides the governing framework under which all other school health service programs operate.  Core services of the Basic school health services program are:  nursing assessments, health counseling, referrals and follow-up for suspected or confirmed health problems; individualized health care plan development; in-school care management for chronic and acute health conditions; assistance with medication administration and health care procedures; vision, hearing, scoliosis, and growth and development screenings; first aid and emergency health services; communicable disease prevention and intervention; and emergency preparedness.

Florida's Basic School Health Program is a registered school nurse (RN) managed program that addresses day-to-day student health needs, emergency health needs and in-school management of chronic and acute health conditions like diabetes, asthma, allergies and epilepsy.  In-school care management helps to ensure that student health conditions do not prevent students from attending school.  Under the guidance of RNs, the county-level school health programs are implemented by county health departments, school districts and public-private partners with services provided by RNs, licensed practical nurses, health aides and trained school staff.  Registered school nurses are pivotal members of Florida's educational system and help students to reach their full academic potential.  

Due to increasing numbers of students with health conditions requiring health services during the school day, the School Health Program works on ensuring that standards of care and efficiencies are implemented.  Over the past ten years (2002-2003 to 2011-2012), while reported student health conditions increased by 57.39% (390,992 to 615,393), the number of registered school nurses (RN) providing school health services increased by only 8.46% (993 to 1,077).  To ensure the continued provision of safe school health services while addressing increased caseloads, RNs must follow safe nursing practice according to Florida's Nurse Practice Act (s. 464.001, F.S.).  This includes development of individualized healthcare plans, and training, delegation and monitoring of care provided by licensed practical nurses, health aides and school staff.

Comprehensive School Health Services:

In addition to provision of all Basic school health services, Comprehensive school health services include increased services per Florida Statute section 381.0057 for student health management, interventions and classes. These services promote student health; reduce high-risk behaviors and their consequences (substance abuse, unintentional/ intentional injuries, and sexually transmitted diseases); provide pregnancy prevention classes and interventions; and provide support services to promote return to school after giving birth.  Forty-six counties receive funding to implement Comprehensive school health services programs in locally selected schools with high rates of teen birth, substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors.

Full Service Schools:

In addition to provision of all Basic school health services, Full Service Schools provide additional school-based health and social services per Florida Statute section 402.3026, such as:  nutritional services, economic and job placement services, parenting classes, counseling for abused children, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and adult education for parents.  Sixty-six counties receive funding to provide Full Service School programs in schools with high numbers of medically underserved, high-risk students.