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Central Valley Rural Education and Health Alliance (REHA)

The Central Valley Rural Education and Health Alliance (REHA) brings together rural elementary school educators, district administrators, and school-based health professionals to strengthen and expand collaborative approaches to improve student education and health outcomes. The children and families that live, work, and go to school in California’s rural Central Valley experience some of the state’s worst education and health outcomes and some of the nation’s most entrenched poverty. Improving these outcomes, especially for young children, is a regional priority. REHA specifically focuses on ways that schools and school-based health centers, which serve the same at-risk populations but experience significant challenges working together, can collaborate to help preK–3 students succeed in school. As a cross-sector effort, REHA works with partners using evidence, promising approaches, and data to address key issues such as chronic absence, school culture and climate, family support, and behavioral interventions.

Partnership Objectives

The primary goal of REHA is to improve education and health outcomes for preK–3 students by strengthening the ways schools and school-based health centers provide collaborative services and supports. To accomplish this, the alliance focuses on:

  • Building a shared understanding of the obstacles to cross-sector collaboration between schools and school-based health centers, and developing stronger policies, procedures, and practices that enable collaboration.
  • Using data to identify and better support the academic and health needs of students at risk of not succeeding in school.
  • Increasing enrollment and attendance in preK, and attendance and engagement in the early elementary grades.

Projects

Developing a theory of action. An initial activity with alliance members was to examine the relevant research and develop a theory of the factors that influence the outcomes of interest.

Reducing absenteeism. Several member districts are mounting initiatives to reduce absenteeism through a variety of interventions. REL West is assisting with data analysis and the development of videos and other tools for use in these districts and beyond.

Expanding early learning. The Fresno County Office of Education and districts are looking to increase preschool enrollment. REL West is assisting with data coaching and research.

Partners

Alliance membership includes the American Institutes for Research, the California School-Based Health Alliance, the Central Valley Coalition, the Fresno County Office of Education, and teams from the participating schools, districts, and school-based health centers.