Become a Healthy School

Healthy Schools Approach

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 children’s health and learning.  A Healthy Schools Approach follows the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School framework.

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

Healthy Schools Certification

Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification is based on the 4-step Healthy Schools Process, inspired by the Canadian Healthy School Standards and Canada’s Comprehensive School Health Framework.  The Healthy Schools Certification Guidebook 2022-2023 will provide you with a step-by-step guide to becoming a healthier school in your community. 

To learn more about what the Healthy Schools Approach means and how you can make a difference in your school community, click on the video below.

4-Steps to becoming a Healthy School

Step One: Assemble Your 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: Identify Your School Community Priorities, Assets and Health Topic(s)

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 Three: Develop Your Plan and Take Action 

Identify some strategies you want to try. Be creative! Use the Foundations for a Healthy School Framework 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.  Carry out your planned activities. Have fun and monitor your progress along the way.

Step Four: 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.

How to get started?

  • Contact Public Health for guidance, support, and grant funding opportunities.  Learn more about our grants and apply online by November 25, 2022.
  • Register your school with Ophea and follow the 4-step process to be certified as a gold, silver or bronze level Healthy School.  Register by November 25, 2022.

To learn more about becoming a Healthy School and about our Healthy School Grants, please contact our Client and Community Support Call Centre: 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006 (M-F, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.) or emailclientcommunitysupport@wdgpublichealth.ca.