OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — When kids have to miss school for an appointment like the doctor or dentist, it takes time away from learning and can be difficult for parents to juggle with their schedules.
But what if those services were right at school?
The Oceanside Unified School District said they're trying something new this year.
“Instead of sending our families out that we bring the services right into our community,” said Dr. Mercedes Lovie.
Dr. Lovie is the Associate Superintendent of Educational Support Services at Oceanside Unified. She says that's exactly what they're doing as part of their new "Community Schools Program."
They've already had a dental clinic during school hours.
“When its their turn to get their teeth looked at there's no wait parents don't have to take them out of school and they're right back in class learning right away,” said Dr. Lovie.
So far, there are four campuses designated as community schools Laurel, Mission Elementary, Libby Elementary, and Jefferson Middle.
“Based on the California health index and based on what we know about the economic status and that these communities were most under resourced in Oceanside,” said Dr. Lovie.
In addition to health services, the program also works to connect families to mental health, social services, and expands on the learning opportunities available.
“Not only are we kind of serving our families we're also helping the other service providers do a better job of what they do,” said Dr. Lovie.
Eric Joyce is the Oceanside school board member behind bringing the program to the district.
He said it's an example of equity in action by trying to ensure every family has access to the resources they need to raise healthy, well-educated children.
“We know we need to invest in specific communities in order to break up the predicted outcomes we have right now,” said Joyce.
Oceanside Unified is hoping to expand the program in the coming years as more funding becomes available.