Improving health and academic outcomes for students by supporting new partnerships between schools and health care providers.

In this initiative, we support new partnerships between schools and health care providers to create school-based health centers for students and the community. School-based health centers are a powerful tool for improving both health and education outcomes.

Students who have untreated medical or dental problems and those with mental illness or substance use disorders often miss school, and these problems can adversely affect learning and academic achievement. Without a way to care for their students’ physical and mental needs, schools often use discipline methods such as out of school suspension rather than providing more effective treatment for underlying issues.

School-based health centers offer easy access to medical, dental, and behavioral health services for students. Many centers provide services for families, school staff, and community members as well. Providing health services in school can help teachers and administrators more effectively address behavioral issues, treat health problems that impact attendance, and keep students in school and learning.

We created this initiative to improve students’ health and academic outcomes by implementing school-based health centers in communities that need them most.

Funding Opportunity

This initiative provides funding for health care providers to partner with schools to implement school-based health centers. Federally qualified health centers, rural health centers, and tribal health departments are eligible. The partnering schools that this initiative will target fall into one of the categories below, including:

  1. Schools identified as “comprehensive” schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act
  2. Alternative high schools
  3. Schools identified as “targeted” schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act and in which 70% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch
  4. Schools that serve a large number of students with complex needs based on school-level Youth Risk Behavioral Survey and any other school-level specific data or 70% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and there is evidence of complex health needs

Our first round of grant funding will open Wednesday, September 23, 2020. Applications will be due October 21, 2020, and projects will begin December 1, 2020. Grant applications are by invitation only. Funding is available for planning and implementation projects.

For more information on this funding opportunity or If you are interested in applying for a planning or implementation grant, please contact our office.

To help support the implementation of this initiative, the Montana Healthcare Foundation gave the Montana Office of Public Instruction a grant for $100,000 over two years. The Montana Office of Public Instruction will help with outreach to high-priority schools and will work to align current programming (such as the Multi-Tiered System of Support) with Montana Healthcare Foundation-funded projects in those schools. More information can be found in the grant summary

Our Work in Grant Application Assistance

Partnerships for Better Health Grantees

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