Student Health

The first school-based health center (SBHC) sites opened in Seattle following passage of the City's first Families and Education Levy in November 1990. Recognizing that mental and physical health are crucial for classroom success, across its 1997, 2004, and 2011 renewals, the Levy was expanded to add additional SBHC sites and to include elementary schools and portable oral health care services.

SBHCs are an important bridge between health and education, delivering results that matter to schools, including decreasing absenteeism and improving grade point averages. Read more in this article: Impact of School-Based Health Center Use on Academic Outcomes (pdf).

We provide Levy support for physical, mental, and dental health services to help students:

  • Reduce school absences
  • Meet age and grade level expectations on standard tests and assessments
  • Complete career and technical education (CTE) courses before graduation
  • Graduate on time
  • Graduate with all requirements for entry into college

Services are divided into 4 categories:

School-Based Health Centers - available at most Seattle public middle and high schools, and at 8 elementary schools

Interagency [Academy] Health - physical and mental health care access for students at the Interagency Academy, an alternative public high school

School District Health Services - extra support for school district services, including the Family Support Program which helps families overcome the social, emotional, and physical barriers that hinder student academic progress

Oral Health – care for youth in Innovation elementary schools 

Managing Our Levy Investments

Our Strategies for Increasing Student Success through Better Health

The 2011-2019 Families and Education Levy is improving the health of Seattle's students by:

  • Maintaining 17 SBHCs at 10 comprehensive high schools, the Seattle World School / Nova High School, Interagency Academy, and 5 middle schools
  • Implementing new health services at 8 elementary schools: Bailey Gatzert, Beacon Hill International, Dearborn Park, Highland Park, Madrona K-8, Roxhill, Van Asselt, and West Seattle
  • Strengthening mental health services at SBHCs
  • Funding 7 full-time school nurses serving Ballard, Cleveland, Franklin, Ingraham, Rainier Beach, Roosevelt, Chief Sealth, and West Seattle high schools, and Denny, Aki Kurose, Madison, and Washington middle schools
  • Improving collaboration between the school-based health centers and Seattle Public Schools through joint professional development trainings
  • Helping to bring students into compliance with required and recommended immunizations

How We Select Sites and Providers

We contract with Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC) to oversee all Levy-supported health services. PHSKC coordinates with us and the City of Seattle Human Services Department to solicit proposals from community-based agencies who can demonstrate the following:

  • Previous experience achieving results providing similar services
  • Ability to use data to design, implement, and modify programs
  • Ability to work with schools and community-based agencies to plan and implement strategies and achieve results
  • Willingness to use innovative methods
  • Ability to leverage existing resources to achieve results


Sponsors Receiving Levy Health Investments in the 2013-14 School Year and the Schools Receiving Services.


Group Health Cooperative

Aki Kurose Middle School

Washington Middle School

Franklin High School

Nathan Hale High School

Interagency Academy

International Community Health Services

Seattle World School/Nova High School

Neighborcare Health

Bailey Gatzert Elementary

Dearborn Park Elementary

Highland Park Elementary*

Roxhill Elementary*

Van Asselt Elementary*

West Seattle Elementary*

Denny International Middle School*

Madison Middle School*

Mercer Middle School*

Chief Sealth High School*

Roosevelt High School

West Seattle High School

Odessa Brown Children's Clinic
(Seattle Children's Hospital)

Beacon Hill International School*

Madrona K-8*

Garfield High School

Public Health-Seattle & King County

Cleveland High School

Ingraham High School

Rainier Beach High School

Swedish Medical Center

Ballard High School

* FEL-funded portable oral health services are provided by Neighborcare Health at these sites.

Measures of Success

Public Health – Seattle & King County works with us and SBHC community partners to establish appropriate measures of success related to both health and academic targets. Examples of performance measures include:

  • English Language Learners make gains on state English proficiency tests
  • Students meet or exceed annual typical growth rates on Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments in reading or math
  • Students have fewer than 5 excused or unexcused absences per semester