Spring Health Update
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May 24, 2023
Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,
School year 2022-2023 is nearly over, and like you, we have our eyes set on summertime. Though the Office of Student Health will not have the direct and consistent contact with students that we have during the school year, we encourage you to make use of a variety of resources, events and initiatives designed to support mental and physical health throughout the summer.
In-Person Immunizations & Physicals
The School District has partnered with a number of organizations to ensure that all K-12th grade students will have easy access to school physicals and immunizations they need to return to school in the fall. Through our collaboration with CityLife Health and Delaware Valley Community Health, vaccines and physicals will be offered to SDP students at select locations through July and August. In August, vaccines and physicals will be offered to District students at select 2023 Back-to-School Bus Tour Mega-Events. In addition all students, K-12th grade,can get their vaccines or physicals at any CityLife Health Clinic or City Health Center in Philadelphia, as well as from their healthcare provider. These services will be provided to all students K-12th grade regardless of insurance status. Students under 18 must have paper or phone consent. Appointments are preferred.To find a location or schedule an appointment visit www.philasd.org/vax.
Kooth Online Mental Wellbeing Community
Hundreds of School District of Philadelphia high school students have made use of Kooth, the safe and confidential online mental health and wellbeing community that launched this year. They have accessed professional counseling, peer-to-peer support and self-help tools like goal-setting resources, advice and opinion pieces, and written personal experiences from peers and experts. Kooth will be visiting the 2023 Back-to-School Bus Tour Mega-Events to help spread the word about Kooth, get students signed up, and share how students can participate in their #SummerWellness campaign and compete for a chance to have Philadelphia Eagle and Kooth Ambassador Lane Johnson visit their school this fall. We hope that you will stop by the Kooth tables at the Mega-Events this summer to learn more about this important resource that is helping students feel connected, accepted and understood.
Health Insurance & Medicaid Resources
Anyone who receives health insurance through the state must renew their Medicaid, Medical Assistance or CHIP insurance annually. This spring, the District hosted a forum providing information and instructions for obtaining and renewing health insurance. You can watch the forum here. For additional assistance signing up for or renewing health insurance, call or text the Pennsylvania Health Access Network at (877) 570-3642 or complete this Get Help Form.
We are days away from releasing the new School District of Philadelphia Strategic Plan. While I won’t give it all away now, I can say that supporting the physical and social-emotional health of our students is one of the top priorities within the plan. This summer’s mental and physical health initiatives are intentional actions in alignment with that priority.
I wish you a wonderful summer! In partnership,
Tony B. Watlington Sr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia