Dules, schools may utilize the SHI also to evaluate the policies and practices of non-school institutions that support students, for example, afterschool programs and home health agencies. Schools can work in conjunction with non-school entities to develop the SHI to help ensure students are able to access and receive assistance from the network of facilities and services that are in connection with health.
A further important feature of the SHI is the emphasis on equity and cultural competence. The SHI contains a series of tests designed to determine the degree to which schools are promoting fairness and is meeting the demands of every student, regardless of their ethnicity, race, socioeconomic situation, or any other factor. The SHI can be used by private school offices for evaluating these issues.
The SHI inquires whether or not students can access translators and interpreters. Also, it provides information regarding the accessibility to materials and sources in other languages. Through answering these inquiries, schools can gain a better grasp of their work in promoting equity and cultural competency and determine any issues they could have to work on.
Apart from equity-related issues as well as the equity-related questions, the SHI contains a series of questions about the school’s efforts to address health disparities and encourage health equity. These include questions regarding the school’s partnerships with local organizations as well as its efforts to collaborate with different stakeholder groups in the community. Schools can answer these questions to gain a greater understanding of the ways they work to reduce health disparities in order to improve equity, as well as identify opportunities for improvement.
The SHI assists schools in creating an environment that is more welcoming to all students with a focus on the importance of cultural competence and equity. Due to the rapid changes in the world, this is particularly important.