Advocacy Tools

United States Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders said it best," ...we can't educate children who are not healthy, and we cannot keep them healthy if they are not educated. There has to be a marriage between health and education."

To better promote Dr. Elder’s vision, SNOM collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Health Adolescent and School Health Unit, University of Minnesota’s Healthy Youth Development Prevention Research Centers, Minnesota Service Cooperatives, BrightWorks Educational Cooperative, and the Minnesota Department of Education to support schools and school nurses recovering from the COVID- 19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the health and wellbeing of students, families, school nurses and educators. The inequities in health and education for students that existed prior to the pandemic are now overwhelming school health resources, specifically understaffed school nursing workforce.

Together, these organizations are committed to improving and enhancing the ability of schools and school nurses to support students’ health and educational needs, so all Minnesota students thrive.

These resources shared here are designed to help school nurses, school leaders, parents and state policy leaders make the case for a comprehensive approach that prioritizes increased investments in the school health workforce that will better support student health and academic outcomes.

How are the Children? Minnesota Student Survey: Student Health & Wellbeing District Decision Makers

This document makes the case for more student health services and advocates for a full-time school nurse in every building by sharing results from the MN Student Survey (MSS) data on health analyses demonstrating how chronic health conditions, anxiety and depression intersect with chronic absenteeism and academic engagement.

One of the action steps in the document is for school superintendents to request a free, tailored Student Health Fact Sheet with their district’s data exploring these same connections between health concerns, academic engagement, and chronic absenteeism.

1. The district must have participated in the 2022 MSS, with data from at least 8th, 9th, or 11th grade students.
2. The email request must come from the district superintendent that gives us permission to use your data to create the report. Please send this email to and include the name of your school district. Request must be made by June 15, 2024.

A Guide for Parents: The State of School Health in Minnesota Parents and Families

Parents are critical voices who could build public will for expanded student health services. This document is aimed at helping parents be advocates for their child’s health during the school day. Parents send their children to school trusting the school to have the resources and staffing to care for students' academic and healthcare needs. But for many schools funding for school health services has not kept pace with the needs of children today.

The document shares data about increasing student healthcare needs from the MN Student Survey and summarizes the impact of school nurses on student health and education. It then invites parents to advocate for a full-time school nurse in every building by engaging with their networks, school board members, and district leaders and policy makers.

If you have questions about this project, please contact the Minnesota Department of Health at