School-Based Health Center

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- There is more information regarding a new school-based health center in District 205. Administrators are possibly looking to put the clinic at a high school, instead of Kennedy Middle School as originally planned. 23 News visited a school-based health center in South Beloit, to see how the program is working there.

Lynn Grover helps examine students almost every day at South Beloit High School, but not in the nurses office. In the school's Health Center that has been around for 13 years.

"We provide services just like a doctor’s office,” Grover said.

Students can get physicals, vaccinations, even STD and pregnancy tests, but parents must fill out a consent form. The center also offers mental health and dental services.

"It allows students to stay at school. Instead of a half day adventure of going to the doctor we can call them out of class and they can come down and have things taken care of timely and get back to class."

Convenience is also why District 205 wants to build its own school-based health center. Administrators wanted to utilize two classrooms at Kennedy Middle School, but that could change. Since studies show more students take advantage of health centers at high schools.

"Students having access to health care during the day greatly reduces absenteeism, which would increase their time in front of a classroom teacher, which would increase their education to a point where we might see improved graduation rates,” said Health Services Supervisor, Mary Fisher.

The district would offer medical, dental, vision, nutrition and counseling services.
The district could put the center at a high school. Although, they're not sure if there's space at Auburn, administrators say they like that location, since there's a triangle of schools with Kennedy and McIntosh. There's also about 7,000 students at other schools within two miles that could take advantage of the center.

There will be a presentation on the health center at the operations committee meeting next week. If approved. It would then go to the full school board for a vote. The goal is to have the center up and running by next school year, but if the district changes locations, that could push the timeline back.

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