methods of health program evaluations

Session 1: In-Class Exercise Part B

Read the case study:

The Community School Vision

Adapted from resources available at

A community school is a place and a set of partnerships between school and community. It has an integrated focus on academics, youth development, family support, health and social services, and community development. Its curriculum emphasizes real-world learning through community problem solving and service. By extending the school day and week, it reaches families and community residents. The community school is uniquely equipped to develop an educated citizenry, strengthen family and community, and nurture democracy in the twenty-first century.

Guiding Principles for Community Schools

Foster strong partnerships: Partners share their resources and expertise and work together to design community schools and make them work.

  • Share accountability for results: Clear, mutually agreed-upon results drive the work of community schools. Data helps partners measure progress toward results.
  • Set high expectations for all: Community schools are organized to support learning. Children, youth, and adults are expected to learn at high standards and to be contributing members of their community.
  • Build on the community’s strengths: Community schools marshal the assets of the entire community: the people who live and work there, local organizations, and the school.
  • Embrace diversity: Community schools know their communities. They work to develop respect and a strong, positive identity for people of diverse backgrounds and are committed to the welfare of the whole community.

Proposed Evaluative Work

ABC Elementary – a community school ‐ focuses on creating a child‐centered community. One of the ways in which the school does this is by offering health services to their students and families. This is important because their once full‐time school nurse ‐ now on a part‐time schedule – is only able to serve the neediest students. Furthermore, families depended on the school nurse for their own health care because there were no health facilities in the neighborhood. Families with no personal transportation had to spend the entire day with all their children on public transportation traveling across the city for services. If not for the school nurse, many illnesses and injuries would have gone undiagnosed and under referred. Emergency rooms were the neighborhood’s primary care if the school nurse could not assist them. With reduced health services at the school, families were left without a place to receive medical care. Realizing this gap, the community school wishes to partner with their local university to provide a school health clinic and evaluate the effectiveness of this proposed program. They believe that having a full‐time school nurse in their health clinic would address their students’ barriers to learning. The health clinic aims to provide free family health services ‐ as well as extended educational opportunities ‐ within walking distance of their homes. The health clinic staff will conduct school‐wide home visits (twice a year) further building family relationships and celebrations for all children and their success. Referrals and clinic information will be disseminated by staff and followed through by the clinic social worker.

Answer the following questions:

  • Who are the stakeholders for this evaluation?
  • How might they use or be affected by the evaluation results?
  • From the limited information provided here, what is the primary question you want to answer through an evaluation?
  • What would an evaluability assessment would look like – what kinds of information sources/data would you need to answer the evaluation question?
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