The Total Child

Blog Tour: Telemedicine Offsets Loss of Learning Time

(Children’s Health Insurance , Coordinated School Health, National Awareness, Student Support Services) Permanent link

The following is a cross-post which was originally published by the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at the Milken Institute School for Public Health at George Washington University on March 30, 2018. 

This post is by Dr. Dan Leikvold, Superintendent, Lead-Deadwood-School District (South Dakota)

The Lead-Deadwood School District is a rural district located in the Northern Black Hills of western South Dakota. It has a K-12 population of around 710. The tourism, gaming, and mining industries are the primary economic drivers in the Lead-Deadwood Community.

Although there are many outstanding opportunities for workers in the area, as with many school districts, we too have our share of challenges that are directly associated with the effects of poverty. This includes behavioral issues, transiency, limited access to transportation, and a lack of affordable housing. The free and reduced lunch rate in our district is around 50%. 

Over the course of the last ten years, the school district has identified and worked with multiple local and regional agencies to address the needs of our children and families affected by poverty. We realize we cannot be all things to all people, but we recognize the crucial connection between our children being happy, healthy, safe and supported and their ability to learn at school.

As part of this comprehensive approach, the school district entered into a partnership with Behavior Management Systems (BMS) in 2013 to bring a Family Pathways therapist from BMS to our schools/community full-time. All of the children and adolescents with whom the therapists work must meet the severely and emotionally disturbed criteria as outlined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the program is open to anyone with this diagnosis whether or not they have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This partnership has been a win-win opportunity for both parties and has benefited our children and families immensely. Family Pathways is a fee-for-service program, so the direct costs to the school are minimal and include providing the therapist with an office and internet access, use of a copier, and parking.

After five years of a successful partnership in which we have been able to serve approximately 100 children and families onsite, we have identified another very important issue to address in order to have an even better program. In conjunction with BMS, we will now be providing mental health services to the students in the Lead-Deadwood School District via telemedicine free of charge to students and families, as well as the school district, during the school day.

Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the telecommunications infrastructure. It allows healthcare providers to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients without the need for an in-person visit with the medical provider. TeleMed is the service provider BMS and the district use for the service.

 The TeleMed program will alleviate barriers for families, so that medication and other therapies are consistent and maintained. Many times, appointments are missed due to challenges with transportation facing students and families. As a result, obtaining and maintaining adequate medication therapy is interrupted. This new approach will alleviate that problem.

This is how it works. A parent/guardian must be present at each appointment with BMS. BMS will handle all release requirements prior to our students receiving services in our schools. Before each BMS appointment, the School Nurse takes weight and blood pressure data for each student so the BMS provider has this information, but the District is not responsible for or charged for any portion of the services provided in the Lead-Deadwood School District. We are responsible for providing a computer and technical support during the time of the TeleMed appointment with BMS. Our students meet virtually with the BMS provider once per month or more if needed.

Students that receive free lunch will qualify for BMS services at no cost and there is a sliding scale rate for students that do not qualify. We will make referrals to BMS based on school and parent communication, similar to what we currently do with BMS on-site counseling services. BMS has contacted the Lead and Deadwood pharmacies and both are capable of receiving escripts.

Instead of taking a student out of school from three to four hours to an entire day, these virtual, in-building appointments will take a maximum of 20 minutes to half an hour. This will allow parents to come to the elementary school, eliminating the barriers of time, transportation hassles for parents and students, and loss of attendance. We appreciate this partnership and are excited to be able to offer this new service to our children and families.

 Dr. Leikvold is also an Education Advisor to the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at the Milken Institute School for Public Health at George Washington University for a RWJF-funded project to provide state and local stakeholders in the education and health sectors with tools they can use to develop a sustainable, cross-sector infrastructure to provide integrated supports for the healthy development and academic success of students. For more information visit the Center’s website or Partner Build Grow: An Action Guide for Sustaining Child Development and Prevention Approaches.

Join AASA Children's Programs Department at the 2017 AASA National Conference on Education

(Alternative School Breakfast , Children’s Health Insurance , Innovative Professional Development, National Awareness, Equity, Student Support Services, Community Schools , ESSA) Permanent link


  Join AASA Children's Programs Department  in New Orleans at the 2017 National Conference on Education (NCE), this March!  

  Below is a schedule of concurrent sessions, Thought Leader sessions and  the Dr. Effie H. Jones Memorial Luncheon. 

 Click on the links below to see flyers with details on each of our sessions.

Register today at .

During the conference follow us on social media at @AASATotalChild and  using #NCE17 and read recaps of our sessions  in Conference Daily Online.

Schedule of Events

 Thursday March 2, 2017

9:00 am-10:00 am: Thought Leader: Redesigning Professional Development Systems Leadership, Feedback and Impact (Room 207)
9:00 am -10:00 am: Igniting and Insuring a STEAM K-16 Pipeline  (Room 211) 
12:15pm -1:00 pm: Knowledge Exchange Theater: Online Support for In-School Impact: #InsureAllChildren-- a demonstration of the AASA/ Children's Defense Fund school-based, child health insurance outreach and enrollment toolkit.(Exhibit Hall)

1:00 pm-2:00 pm: Dealing with Loss and Grief in School   (Room 211)
2:45 pm -3:45 pm: Feeding Hungry Minds: Funding Your School Breakfast Program (Room 211)
4:00 pm-5:00 pm: Thought Leader: Community Schools: Cultivating Opportunity, Equity and Agency (Room 207)

 Friday March 3, 2017
10:45 am -11:45 am:  Leveraging the Every Student Succeeds Act to Provide Integrated Student Supports (Room 211)
11:45 am -1:45 pm: The Dr. Effie H. Jones Memorial Luncheon with featured speaker, Monique W. Morris, author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (Room 208)
2:45 pm-3:45 pm: Build a Culture of Equity in Your District (Room 211)




We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!




EQUITY SERIES: U.S. Secretaries of Education and Health and Human Services Recognize AASA's Contributions to Children

(Children’s Health Insurance , National Awareness, Equity Series) Permanent link

 Obama Administration Encourages Schools to Enroll in Health Care Coverage Through School Registration


 "The challenge for all of us, whether it's in healthcare or education is to figure out what we can do to help students and families. We know efforts like the partnership between AASA, The School Superintendents Association and The Children's Defense Fund can make a real difference connecting children and families to quality health care."

  - U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.  

 "3 out of 4 uninsured children walk through the school door...when we think about the children, [school] is the place where the children are reached, and this is the place where there are trusted voices. This is also a place where we can think about the parents' trust. It's not just about asking the question, [does your child have health insurance?], but going the next step if the answer is 'no'. Then, what do you do to get that insurance?"

  --U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell.


 Pictured (L-R) U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King Jr, Lillian Maldonado French, Superintendent of Mountain View School District (CA), and Dan Domenech, Executive Director, AASA.

 On August 31st, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell and U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. hosted a Roundtable discussion at Francis L. Cardozo Education Campus in Washington D.C., to launch AASA and CDF's "Insure All Children" Toolkit (, supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies.This work was emanated from AASA's Children's Programs Department, whose work is centered on driving systems change and increasing educational equity. The Department is committed to equity in educational opportunities and outcomes, reducing racial disparities and aiding and assisting those most in need.

 toolkit launch

 AASA's Executive Director Dan Domenech gave opening remarks and moderated the discussion. Along with the Secretaries, Dan was joined by CDF President, Marian Wright Edelman, Superintendent Lillian Maldonado French of Mountain View School District (CA) and District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson.

"I worked in public education for 40 years and was a superintendent for 27 years. The health of a child is critical to a good education," Dan said as he begun the discussion.

"Children don't come in pieces," Marian Wright Edelman added. "Every child needs to be insured. We've made progress, but there's more to be done."

The discussion highlighted best practices for getting more students enrolled in health insurance by asking the simple question, "Does your child have health insurance?" on important annual school forms. All children need access to health insurance in order to succeed in school and in life.

"This shouldn't be a dream, [ access to health insurance] is something every child should have," said Superintendent French, who has worked with AASA and CDF on this initiative since 2011. "Even two to three days a month of missing school has a tremendous impact. You can't teach a child who is sick."

Watch this video with U.S Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.


 Watch this video with U.S Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell


Watch this promo video featuring AASA's Executive Director Dan Domenech and CDF's President Marian Wright Edelman as they introduce the toolkit and address how all children need to have access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance to succeed in school and in life.


 Learn more from the Department of Education's Press Release.

The "Insure All Children" Toolkit

 Our interactive toolkit contains lessons learned from 15 urban, suburban and rural school districts.  

 Find interactive maps that provide real-time data on children uninsured in school districts and short videos with advice from superintendents. Interact on social media using #InsureAllChildren to share health enrollment stories.Download a PDF copy or visit


AASA Children’s Programs On the Road: Children’s Health Insurance California Site Visit

(Children’s Health Insurance , On The Road) Permanent link


  There are 6.2 million uninsured students in the United States.

AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and The Children’s Defense Fund have partnered to enroll eligible students in Medicaid, the state Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other health coverage with the goal of ensuring all children are in school and ready to learn, as well as enrolling undocumented children. The current focus is on Texas and California—two states with the largest number of uninsured children. 

Sharon in T-shirt

Sharon Adams Taylor(AASA) sporting t-shirt from Mountain View School District (Lillian Maldonado French, superintendent) on what it means to be healthy. Last line reads, "I have health coverage."

On December 2, 2015, leaders from four school districts convened in California to discuss their role in health care coverage enrollment and outreach.     

  1.   Compton Unified School District (CA)
  2.   El Rancho Unified School District (CA)
  3.   Lynwood Unified School District (CA)
  4.   Mountain View School District (CA)   

 Sharon and supts

The California site visit featured a superintendent panel.  Pictured from left to right Supt. Paul Gothold (Lynwood Unified School District), Sharon Adams-Taylor (AASA), Asst. Supt. Gudiel Crosswaithe (Lynwood Unified School District), and Martin Galindo (El Rancho School District).  

Schools have played a major role in reducing the amount of uninsured students in the United States—1 million more children were covered in 2014 than in 2013. In California, the state legislature passed Assembly Bill2706, which requires school districts to provide families information on health care coverage. The four school districts are models to other districts in California, on how to increase the participation rates in enrolling children in health coverage programs.


Kathleen King, Deputy Director of Health Policy, Children's Defense Fund presents the Medicaid/ CHIP participation rates.


Learn more about our current work: All Healthy Children: A School-Based Approach To Children’s Health Coverage

Read about our site visit to Texas in Late October 2015