Most users find it takes 2-5 hours to complete the tool, depending on how many modules you add to your assessment. You can save your progress on the tool and complete it over the course of multiple sessions. The most time-consuming aspect of completing the tool is often compiling the information needed to answer the questions. Compiling your district/state's health services policies and protocols before you start will allow you to complete the tool more quickly. Although it does take time to complete this tool, users have expressed that the process of completing the tool is a learning experience for all those involved.
District Tool: The person or department that oversees school health services for the district should lead the completion of the HATS with input from health services staff and other district personnel and partners who can assist in providing accurate answers to the questions. It is helpful to include the superintendent or other administrators who are familiar with the district's health services policies. In addition, it may be helpful to consult with individuals who are familiar with best practices for school health services in order to assess whether the district’s policies and protocols/procedures are aligned with best practices.
State Tool: If the state has a state school nurse consultant, they may be the person at the state-level with the most knowledge to complete the assessment tool. Additionally, state education agency or state department of public health professionals with knowledge of school health services would also be ideal candidates to utilize this tool. Partners from the state school nurse association, AAP Chapter, or other school-based health professionals may also be able to assist.
Remember, the results are only helpful if they are accurate. Eliciting honest input is important to making this self-assessment process useful.
The HATS was developed by a working group of experts in school health services and went through several rounds of testing with professionals at both the district and state level. Revisions were made to both the questions and the user interface based on feedback from interviews, surveys, and user testing with the pilot group.
There are several other existing tools, such as the School Health Index, that can be used to assess school health more broadly.
The purpose of the HATS is not to duplicate existing assessments, but to provide an option for conducting an in-depth assessment of health services. It is unique in providing such a detailed, comprehensive analysis of this component of school health and the WSCC model. The HATS can be used in conjunction with other school health assessments to provide a fuller picture of school health within a district/state.
The HATS is recommended for annual use. For your convenience, you can generate a new assessment that is pre-populated with your responses from the previously completed assessment. This allows you to simply update areas in which there have been changes, rather than re-submitting every question.
Any district that provides health services to its students can use the HATS. The district HATS was originally designed for public school districts, but it can also be used by charter and private districts.
All states can utilize the state HATS to identify the school health services support that is given to districts within the state.
Only those registered on this site will be able to view the results of the assessment. Those who work on the assessment may decide whether to share the results with others. AAP school health staff will use the results in aggregate to identify trends in school health services, but will not identify individual districts/states without permission.
The HATS is a free tool for districts and states to utilize to identify needs for school health services improvements. When sharing the HATS, please provide attribution to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Suggested citation: American Academy of Pediatrics. Health services Assessment Tool for Schools. Itasca, IL. 2022.
If a question does not apply to your district/state, you may simply skip that question. Unanswered questions do not factor into your score.
No, you may choose which modules and sections within the modules you would like to complete. Modules you do not select will not appear on your report. Unanswered sections will still appear on your report, but the score will be blank. Unanswered questions do not factor into your score.
An N/A means the online system determined that a question was not applicable. For example, if you do not provide a service, you will not be asked whether you have policies and protocols/procedures for that services, and you will receive an N/A in place of a score (color) for those questions. Questions that you chose to skip, by contrast, will appear blank.
The total number of questions per module is broken down in the chart below. However, there are several skip patterns throughout the modules so most respondents will not answer all questions.