• Conduct a needs assessment on the health care needs of Options students through available data, surveys and community engagement with Options families, students and staff, youth-serving community organizations, health care organizations
  • Design a school-based health care center model for Options based on needs assessment findings
  • Create a business plan for implementation of a school-based health center at Options High School

Basis for Establishment:

  • Bellingham Public Schools received a School-Based Health Center planning grant from WA Department of Health. Additional grants may support implementation once a planning process is complete.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Work towards consensus and submit recommendations to the Superintendent

Plan of Work:

  • Review the timeline and deliverables of the task force work
  • Learn about and visit other school-based health centers in the region
  • Develop criteria for selection for health care services and partners
  • Inform data collection including surveys and focus groups
  • Review results and data from needs assessment
  • Identify health care partner(s) and provide this recommendation to Superintendent


  • Co-chair, Jessica Sankey, BPS executive team
  • Co-chair, Kim Niederhauser, BPS director of health services
  • Facilitator, Page
  • Amelia Vader, project manager
  • Chris Cochran, BPS director of mental health
  • Alex Scott, Options graduate
  • Megan Barry, Bellingham HS parent/RN
  • Katie Jones, Options principal
  • Aimee Bachmeier, Options counselor
  • Matt Neisinger, Options school nurse
  • Anne Flinn, BPS family engagement unaccompanied youth coordinator
  • Clover Martin, BPS health services administrative assistant
  • Aly Robinson, Whatcom County Health Department data specialist
  • Christian Caro, SeaMar administrator
  • Rodney Anderson, Family Care Network president
  • Bethany Barrett, Sehome HS assistant principal
  • Kendra Webley, Options HS paraeducator
  • Renee Wilgress, Western Washington University adolescent health care expert
  • Sandra Andress, Brigid Collins mental health provider
  • Alisa Wollens, Options HS parent/BTC dental program educator


  • Dana Smith, BPS assistant director of communications


  • Attend meetings.
  • Complete independent work between meetings, which may include outreach to specific groups.
  • Act as a representative for selected group, including sharing information and collecting feedback.
  • Give recommendation and rationale during consensus process.


  • Call for applications beginning October 4. Applications accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, October 14.
  • Initial meeting: Monday, November 7, 3:30 – 5 p.m. Ongoing meetings will be the fourth Monday of the month, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Options
    High School: November 28, January 23, February 27, March 27, April 24.

    • Monday, November 7, 3:30 – 5 p.m. Agenda and Minutes
    • Monday, November 28, 3:30 – 5 p.m. Agenda
    • Monday, January 23, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
    • Monday, February 27, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
    • Monday, March 27, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
    • Monday, April 24, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
  • Task force will conclude and achieve all goals by June 14, 2023.

Budget Implications:

  • Grant funding is $50,000 and provides staff time to coordinate these processes, along with compensation for both certificated and classified
    staff to participate outside of contracted day (estimated at $1000), meeting and process facilitation, food at task force meetings and focus groups
    (whenever students and families are participating).
  • The task force will result in a recommendation for an MOU with a healthcare organization which would allow use of space within Options High
    School at no cost to health care partner. The task force will recommend needed capital project costs to renovate the space and identify funding sources.