Grant-funded center expected to open in fall 2017
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is excited to announce the addition of a School Based Health Center (SBHC) at Thornton High School as a result of generous grant funding.
School Based Health Centers are high quality models for delivering medical care to low-income, uninsured, underserved, and at-risk school-age children and youth. Currently, there are 2,315 SBHCs located in 49 states throughout the United States. Research has documented that school-based health centers positively impact educational success by:
- Improving student health status
- Reducing absenteeism
- Decreasing discipline referrals
- Increasing parental involvement
- Improving readiness to learn
The Colorado State Legislature has taken notice of the benefits of SBHCs and in 2013 the General Assembly voted to invest $5.3 million annually to fund new and manage existing centers. In addition, the Colorado Health Institute released a report in April of 2015 assessing the need for SBHC services in Colorado. They found that urban schools with the highest needs are primarily located in Denver and Adams counties. Thornton High School is listed on their Colorado’s 100 Highest-Need Urban Schools.
The Five Star Schools Office of Student Engagement Initiatives began to explore partnership and grant funding options to open a SBHC in our district. The district has partnered with the following organizations to open a SBHC at Thornton High School:
- Kids First, a local medical non-profit, will serve as the primary fundraiser and as the pass through organization for funding. Kids First will also provide staffing for the SBHC. Kids First established the first SBHC in Colorado in Adams County School District 14 in 1978, which was the second SBHC established in the country.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will provide operating funds for the SBHC for a period of four years, assuming a fall 2017 opening with construction completed. This four years of funding will allow Kids First to create ongoing and sustainable operational funding through Medicaid.
- The City of Thornton (via the Community Development Block Grant) will provide $220,000 in capital for construction.
- The Colorado Health Foundation has committed $300,000 for construction.
- Caring for Colorado will provide $50,000 for construction and architectural design.
The construction and operation of the SBHC is completely grant funded and will not require the district to provide funds from the operations budget or bond funding.
The SBHC project is a tremendous opportunity to provide healthcare to needed students at Thornton High School and Bollman Technical Education Center. Thanks to our great community partners, we are on pace to open the new SBHC in the fall of 2017.