Columbia Secondary: Will a New Initiative Diversify New York's Schools?
By CHRISTINE KIERNAN


Hoop Dreams: How One Harlem Coach Pushes His Players Off the Court
By NICK MEIDANIS

Confusion Reigns Over Klein's Proposed School Restructuring
By SUZANNE LA BARRE

One Year of Unannounced Searches: Metal Detectors in City Schools
By LUCAS GARCIA

When No Child Left Behind Fails the City's Immigrant Students
By ANGELA HOKANSON

Filling the Gaps: Teaching Fellows in the City's Special Education Classes
By SHONNA CARTER

Sports Sacrificed as Students Look to Small Schools
By NICK MEIDANIS

Are State Exit Exams Driving Students With Limited English Out of High School?
By ANGELA HOKANSON

Single-Sex Schools and Minority Achievement: The Young Women's Leadership School
By ELISABETH HULETTE


Single-Sex Schools and Minority Achievement: Eagle Academy for Young Men
By ELISABETH HULETTE

Infusion of City Cash to Expand School Health Clinics
By CHRISTINE KIERNAN

Adlai Stevenson High: The Pride of the Bronx?
By ELIZABETH MENDEZ BERRY


School of Hard Knocks: Former Gang Member Teaches the Next Generation How to Pick Battles
By ELIZABETH MENDEZ BERRY

A School, Not A Madrassa, Grows in Brooklyn
By AMANDA MILLNER-FAIRBANKS

Kids Like Josh: Will Putting Special Education Kids in Small Schools Make a Difference?
By SHONNA CARTER


An Uneasy Partnership: Private Tutoring in Public Schools
By DORIAN MERINA

The Changing Face of Lacrosse: Long Associated With Privilege, Making Inroads Into Harlem
By INSUNG CHO

From Tests to Curricula: SAT Maker Ventures Into Younger Classrooms
By INSUNG CHO


Who's Monitoring These Companies? Newton Learning Still Operating in City Schools One Year After Violations
By DORIAN MERINA
 
 

Infusion of City Cash to Expand School Health Clinics
By CHRISTINE KIERNAN


The number of public schools with student health clinics will reach an all-time high in September, thanks to a generous infusion of city cash that will fund seven new school-based health centers.

Proponents hailed the city’s decision, which brings the total number of such clinics to 125.

“The city has never put money into school-based health centers since they built the first five; this is the first time there’s been interest,” said Lorraine Tiezzi, director of the Center for Community Health and Education at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

All but five of the city’s current 118 school-based health centers operate primarily on state grants. But this year the city decided to pony up more money as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s antipoverty campaign. In fact, the bulk of city funding is coming from the mayor’s Commission for Economic Opportunity, which he created last April and tasked with developing innovative solutions to reducing poverty and increasing economic opportunity. The commission last made news in December, with its plan to provide cash payments to low-income residents who achieve certain education- and employment-related goals, such as staying in school and attending job training.

The first school-based health center opened its doors in New York City in 1983 at the Manhattan Center for Science and Math High School. Today the centers operate in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the five boroughs.

School-based health centers provide a range of free services, including regular checkups, immunizations, contraception, health education and confidential mental health and reproductive counseling. The services are available to all students whose parents have signed a consent form, regardless of their insurance status and ability to pay.

Proponents say that placing clinics in schools is the best way to reach students who typically eschew health services, like teenagers, or the uninsured and kids from low-income families who can’t afford regular visits to the doctor. Benefits to the schools include improved attendance rates and overall improvement in student health.

“A lot of schools want to have a school-based health center. A lot more want centers than there currently are,” said Jane Lima, community outreach coordinator for the 14 school-based health centers operated by Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx.

There is a waiting list of schools that would like to open health clinics, Julia Choe of the New York City Office of School Health wrote in an email.

“The ‘waiting’ often is due to processes of getting approval and funding, and obtaining capital funds to construct a clinic in their building,” she added.

The seven high schools that were selected to host clinics starting in September are Evander Childs, Herbert Lehman, James Monroe, Health Opportunities, Bayard Rustin, Acorn High School for Social Justice and Springfield Gardens.

The school-based health centers at Bayard Rustin High School in Chelsea and Monroe High School in the Bronx will be funded by the City Council, which sought to fund schools with more than 1,000 students. The Commission for Economic Opportunity, which will fund the remaining five, used different criteria to select the sites. It considered only schools in low-income areas, and chose only those with space readily available. That last criteria dramatically reduced the number of possible sites, Choe said.

 The commission’s effort reflects the recommendation it made last September to Bloomberg, urging the expansion of school-based health centers, and their reproductive services in particular, as part of its strategy to prevent youth from dropping out of school.

Since the mid-1980s, the city has funded one school-based health center in each borough, a policy that began when David Dinkins was borough president of Manhattan, said Tiezzi, who served as the director of the New York State Coalition of School-Based Health Centers until last year.

Typically, however, the schools partner with a hospital or community health center, which applies in a competitive process for a grant from the New York State Department of Health. The agency oversees and funds school-based health centers throughout the state.

The last state grants for school-based health centers were awarded in 2001, Tiezzi said. This year the grants are up for renewal. Tiezzi said funding should be released shortly.

In New York, which hosts more school-based health centers than any other state in the nation, the clinics rely on state grants to cover 30 to 50 percent of their costs, said Dr. Roger Platt, Director of the Office of School Health for the City of New York. Medicaid supplies 10 to 30 percent of the budget. The rest comes from a variety of sources, such as the hospital or community health center sponsoring the center, private donations, or the occasional federal or city grant.

“Everyone’s struggling,” said Tiezzi. “There’s no new money to open school-based health centers, with the exception of what the city will do.”

Various groups are pushing the city to increase its support of school-based health centers. The Women’s City Club of New York has taken up the issue, calling on the city to put a clinic in every middle and high school that wants one. Likewise, in a recent letter to Bloomberg, the New York Public Health Association outlined the benefits of the centers, saying they improve school attendance and completion rates and reduce health disparities.

“There’s no way you can’t see that this is a model that works for kids. And it works for families,” said Tiezzi.