Healthcare providers and schools can form new partnerships to support the school’s healthcare and community needs and fulfill the students’ immunization and well-child visit needs. Successful youth immunization and well-child visit efforts at schools require culturally appropriate collaboration, communication, and the development of trust between the organizations and key stakeholders (children and adolescents, caregivers/guardians, and school staff). Setting clear expectations and outlining partner roles and responsibilities is key to the success and the delivery of healthcare services. These steps will create fewer future challenges.

A critical initial step in planning successful immunizations and well-child visit access is forming quality partnerships. Public health departments have traditionally led school-based immunization efforts. Still, other public or private organizations, including pharmacies, local pediatrician offices, federally qualified health centers, community health centers, hospitals, or universities, could alternatively serve as the healthcare provider for immunization and well-child visits support throughout the year. In soliciting the support and partnership of schools and school districts, outreach to superintendents should occur as a first step. It is essential to communicate with and gain the support of school principals and other school leaders. Having school leadership buy-in can facilitate program implementation, increase student participation, and lead to more successful school-based immunization and well-child visit clinics.

Establishing partnerships can be helpful for immunization-related activities. Schools may consider partnering with local immunization or preventive healthcare-related activities in the community. Partners may include local health departments, municipal governments, local healthcare providers, businesses, churches, sports teams, community-based organizations, unions, and media companies. Consider reaching out for assistance if you are not already working with your local health department, federally qualified health centers, large pediatric practices, pharmacists, or other medical, health, or academic institutions.

How schools can work with community health partners:

  • Host a school-based immunization clinic and well-child screening clinic.
  • Invite a health expert to sit on the school district’s community advisory board to inform members on health issues, including immunizations and the importance of preventive well-child healthcare visits.
  • Connect families to experts who can answer questions about immunizations. For example, host a virtual town hall where caregivers can ask local pediatricians questions.
  • Inform caregivers through a school’s communication channels about the dates and places of immunization events or ongoing clinics. Send out electronic sign-up links for caregivers to register their child and themselves for an immunization appointment.
  • Work with local health departments to help educate teachers and school staff on how to dispel immunization myths and misinformation.
  • Find nursing assistance to support schools with limited access to nurses.


MOU and Partnership Resources

Find several customizable templates for communication for schools and healthcare providers, including letters, email templates, and staff communications, regarding school-based immunization and well-child visit events. All communications should be translated and available in various languages, as locally appropriate. 

Collaborating with schools on communications regarding immunization and well-child visit efforts is essential. The school is often a trusted resource, particularly for the most vulnerable families. Joint school-based healthcare events with schools can increase child, adolescent, and caregivers/guardians’ comfort levels and trust. Schools and school districts communicate with their entire communities daily. Their broad reach will significantly enhance your health center’s recruitment efforts.  

School-based health and immunization/well-child visit clinic organizers shall consider developing materials and information that describe the services and explain to caregivers and the community: 

  • What immunization(s) or healthcare services will you offer?
  • Why do you recommend these immunization(s) or health care service(s)?
  • When will you offer these immunization(s) or healthcare services?
  • How can parents register and provide consent for their youth to receive these immunizations and services?
  • Why are students being offered immunizations or well-child visits at the school?
  • Is it mandatory/required that students receive immunizations?
  • What if a student has a reaction to the immunization or medical procedure at school?
  • What if the immunization makes my child feel sick and they miss school? Will their absence be excused?
  • What are common reactions after immunization (e.g., painful injection site)?
  • When should a parent or student seek medical advice, and who should they contact?
  • Where can parents or students find consent forms and pre-immunization checklists for immunization contraindications and precautions?
  • Who can parents or students contact if they have questions or concerns?

Following the clinic or event, send an additional written communication to all caregivers who provided consent.

  • Verify whether or not their child received immunization(s).
  • If they were not vaccinated, provide the reason(s) (i.e., illness, child refusal, or contraindications).
  • Notify them of any vaccine reactions (i.e., hives, syncope),

School- located immunization (SLV) clinics can provide a familiar and convenient location for eligible teachers, students, and even families to get vaccinated while also potentially serving other eligible groups in the surrounding community, including family members of students.

  • Schools with school-based clinics may offer immunization throughout the school day. SLVs can also be run during the summer months when schools are closed or as part of broader back-to-school efforts with the proper planning and communication.
  • SLV clinics are also an effective means to determine if the youth needs their annual well-child visit or additional routine healthcare screenings (dental, vision, etc.).
  • Considerations for Planning School-Located Immunization Clinics” provides more information and resources such as sample letters to caregivers, tips for working with schools, and other considerations. 
  • School-Located Vaccine Clinics: The Next School Nursing Priority ( offers resources specific to school nurse implementation of SLVs, including position statements, best practices regarding hosting SLVs, and a school nurse planning checklist.
  • Regarding specific information to pull out regarding the role of the school nurse in coordinating SLVs, a few resources:

For a high level look at what SLVs look like – here are some resources to consider: 


Social Media/Communications Tools

Youth/Family Engagement Resources