Become a Healthy School

A Healthy School is one where school staff, parents, students and community agencies work together to share ideas, plan and take action to create an environment that will have a positive impact on a child’s health and learning.

NEW for the 2017-2018 school year: Public Health’s Healthy School Grant

Public Health is encouraging schools to use the Healthy School Approach to promote and enhance the health of students, school staff and the whole community!

During the 2017-18 school year, Public Health is offering ten $100 grants to support healthy schools in the Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph region. Click here for details about the grant and to complete our online application form. The application deadline is November 17, 2017.

What is the Healthy Schools Approach?

A Healthy Schools approach follows a six-step process and uses the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School framework (PDF, 37 pages, 5 MB). These video clips describe this “comprehensive approach”.

Benefits for schools

  • Incorporates a healthy school approach into day-to-day learning activities
  • Improves academic achievement
  • Enhances physical, emotional and social health
  • Improves student, family and community engagement
  • Complements school improvement plans
  • Supports future policy development

How to get started

Talk to your school administration about becoming a Healthy School and follow the steps below. Call our School Health Curriculum Resource Line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4111 or email schoolhealth@wdgpublichealth.ca for support and resource recommendations. Involve students and communicate with the whole school at every step along the way!

Register your school to be certified by Ophea as a gold, silver or bronze level Healthy School.

Steps to a becoming a Healthy School

Step one: Establish your school team

Identify a champion and recruit a team (or use an existing group). Ideally, this includes school staff, students, parents and community partners. The team meets on a regular basis and follows the “steps to a healthy school” to reach their goals.

Step two: Survey your school

Use current or new data to identify your school’s strengths, needs and topics of interest. The Joint Consortium for School Health has a Healthy School Planner that can help with this step.

Step three: Identify your priority health topic

Identify a priority health topic such as healthy eating or physical activity that your team will focus on throughout the year. Start with one topic – don’t try to tackle everything at once!

Step four: Develop an action plan

Identify some strategies you want to try. Be creative! Use the Foundations for a Healthy School framework (PDF, 37 pages, 5 MB) for more information and suggested activities to meet your goals in a comprehensive way. As a team, create an action plan for the activities you want to implement.

Step five: Take action

Carry out your planned activities. Have fun and monitor your progress along the way.

Step six: Celebrate and reflect

Decide as a team if you have reached your goals and if there is anything you would like to do differently next time. Celebrate your hard work and successes.