Youth and families with diabetes face significant challenges with self-care, particularly in the context of school. For parents, sending children with diabetes to school is a major source of stress and anxiety, and for school staff there is fear and feelings of unpreparedness. Many families report the daily disruptions associated with diabetes cause profound academic inequality. We used Tier I funds to create a community-driven leadership council on this topic in one school district (Everett, Washington). The result of this work is a well-established, stakeholder-led leadership council that has met regularly with the goal of improving communication and identifying barriers and solutions for families with diabetes in the district.
In Tier II, the council gathered information about existing, feasible, efficacious interventions to improve academic equality within schools. The American Diabetes Association’s Safe at Schools Program emerged as a good candidate to use within a comparative effectiveness research model. Therefore, our plan for Tier III is to continue to engage community stakeholders in the process of forming a research plan specifically designed to compare the Safe at Schools Program with standard practices found within neighboring school districts. To do this, we will engage new partners, including a representative from the American Diabetes Association’s Safe at Schools Program and additional researchers, to join our current community. The result of this work will be a well-formulated, community-led research team mobilized to apply for grants and carry out the research.