Health Data and Student Outcomes

We at SpedLawBlog will periodically cover other aspects of education for students eligible for special education and related services that need to be addressed and considered.

Given what we have gone through this past year, health data is of major importance. Many school district personnel do not have a good understanding of how health data affect student achievement. 

In March 2021, the Indianapolis based Paramount Health Data Project (PHDP) released a peer-reviewed paper on the connection between health equity and educational outcomes. Quantitative data from two social determinants of health—access to health care and access to a quality education—were analyzed to examine the impact of health on student achievement.

The paper, Advancing Health Equity by Addressing Social Determinants of Health: Using Health Data to Improve Educational Outcomes, discussed the collaboration between health care organizations and educational providers in ways that more strategically inform educational outcomes for students. By taking a data driven approach, the PHDP team shared a first glimpse into how to implement new data into existing educational support services provided by schools. 

Data from a high-poverty, high-performing urban K-8 school revealed a statistically significant correlation between the number of visits to a school-based nurse and achievement on standardized academic assessments. Implications for improving health equity and academic achievement through data-driven educational interventions are discussed. Their research was published via a public access journal ( to encourage open sharing and dialogue among education and healthcare providers.
Here is a link to the journal:

By working with PHDP (which has ESSA approval from the Indiana Department of Education) schools can now leverage Title funds to pay for their school nurse—prior to PHDP this was not an option. ESSER application deadline is April 1st; Title funds deadline is typically June or July.

For more information, please contact Azure Angelov or Mary Jo Ratterman:

Azure Angelov

Mary Jo Rattermann <>

For a video describing the process please see:

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