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Journal of School Health

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Collaboration can maximize limited resources of universities, school systems, and public health departments by offering learning from experience. Polvika's theoretical model and principles from Community-Campus Partnerships for Health guided development of a service-learning partnership among a university, a county health department, and an alternative school in a large public school district. Of three commonly identified patterns of service-learning, this partnership demonstrated the pattern that equally emphasizes service to a community or agency, and mutual learning by all participants. All organizations in the partnership share a common goal to optimize the health of children in schools, and to provide quality learning for professional students. The partnership is in its fourth year. Formal interagency agreements now exist among all partners. Individuals continue to demonstrate flexibility and mutual awareness of strengths and limitations of respective organizations. Public school students receive more services, many high-risk children achieve better learning outcomes, school nurses offer expanded services in many schools with the help of nursing students, and undergraduate and graduate nursing students gain meaningful learning experiences. Some nursing students state that school nursing has become a career goal. The partnership continues to evolve to meet changing needs of the partners. Members remain satisfied with the collaboration.