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    Texas School Health Program
    P.O. BOX 149347, MC1944,
    Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 West 49th
    Austin, Texas 78756

    Phone: 512-776-7279
    Fax: 512-458-7618


School-Based Health Centers What a School-Based Health Center Looks Like


There is no required model for school-based health center programs in Texas.  There are however, preferred methods of operation.  This section will provide information on the different models for operating a school-based health centers by covering the following topics: 

Health care tailored to the community:

Every school-based health center is different and is established based on the community’s needs and available resources.

In some communities, the school-based health center is located on one campus and only serves the students of that school.  In other communities, a school-based health center located on one campus may also serve other nearby feeder schools.  Still another school-based health program may provide services on several campuses by using a traveling team of health care providers.

The local school health advisory council provides input on the population to be served and types of services offered through the school-based health center.  Some communities choose to provide health care services not only to the students, but also to their siblings, other family members, other children in the school community area, or other community members.

Requirements for Each center:

School-based health centers vary in size and shape, but at a minimum, every school-based health center should have the following:

  • A waiting area that is not visible to people who aren’t using the health center
  • At least two examination rooms and a counseling room
  • A small laboratory that contains a refrigerator, a microscope, a place to store blood specimens and a sink
  • A bathroom
  • Separate telephone lines from the school’s nurse and an answering machine telling students how to obtain emergency services after hours
  • Private areas: rooms where consultations cannot be overheard; offices and administrative space where staff can work privately with records
  • Secure areas: file cabinets and drawers that lock, to protect medical records

Recommendations for Space and Equipment:

What follows are some common recommendations for the type of equipment needed for specific areas in a school-based health center and a description of the appropriate environment for each specific area:


Environment Equipment

Visually private space

Refrigerator for specimen storage

Adequate counter space for equipment

Sample-taking chair

Electrical outlets (1 outlet for every 18 inches of counter space)

Waste receptacle with lid


Infectious waste receptacles


Cabinet/area to stock daily supplies

Exam Room



Minimum space 8’ x 9’

Exam table and stool

Exam table should be accessible from 4 sides

Foot stool

Private and soundproof

Waste receptacle with lid

Door limits view into exam area

Gooseneck lamp


Cabinet/area to stock daily supplies

Patient Waiting Area

Chairs that can be arranged in various ways

Patient education display unit


Receptionist/Records Storage Area

Desk/work counter and chairs


Answering machine

Locked medical records storage files


Adequate number of electrical outlets


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Last updated September 21, 2016