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Students' Use of School-Based Telemedicine Service and Rates of Returning to Class After These Services in a Small Elementary School District

Schools are often places where students receive wide-ranging basic needs, health, mental health, and other support services. For increasing numbers of schools, offering telemedicine services is part of a broader “whole child” approach for addressing unmet health and well-being challenges that can interfere with student academic success. With the outbreak of COVID-19, and related school building closures, the health and well-being needs of students has come into sharp relief. This study examined the first two years of implementation of school-based telemedicine services before the pandemic at one small elementary school district. Results show that students in the lower and upper elementary grades did not differ in their use of telemedicine, though there were some differences by student race/ethnicity, including the reasons for using telemedicine. The study found that nearly all school-based telemedicine visits resulted in students returning to classes for the remainder of the day. These students received, on average, 3 hours of instruction remaining in that school day.