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Sentinel Schools Network

Improving COVID-19 prevention in schools in Catalonia through participatory research.

Imatge de Xarxa d’Escoles Sentinella

About the network

The Departments of Health and Education of the Generalitat de Catalunya set up the Sentinel Schools network in 2020 to monitor, evaluate and develop recommendations to improve the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic in schools in Catalonia. The project is coordinated by the Center for Epidemiological Studies of Catalonia (CEEISCAT) and involves the following institutions: the Living Lab for Health at IrsiCaixa, ISGlobal, the Vall d'Hebron Hospital, the Microbiology Service of the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital and the IDIAP Jordi Gol.


The Living Lab for Health coordinates the participatory research processes of the project to design and implement comprehensive interventions in different health challenges, in the context of the pandemic, with students, families and teachers. This research is carried out in the framework of the CONNECT project, funded by the European Commission.

Through participatory research, students and their families, as well as teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools become co-researchers of the Sentinel Schools project and have the opportunity to interact with the scientific community, health care professionals and public health officials during the research process.

This participation in the project brings several benefits. First, it allows improving the results of the project taking into account the perspective of the educational community, which will benefit from the results obtained. Secondly, the educational community has the opportunity to participate in a process that favors the improvement of competencies, aptitudes and interest in science, as well as the perceptions towards scientific vocations and the students' confidence to use the scientific method to solve real problems in their environment.

Methodological guidelines

The Living Lab for Health develops methodological guidelines to facilitate the design and implementation of comprehensive interventions through participatory research in schools (see CONNECT).

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