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 2023-2024 will provide you with a step-by-step guide to becoming a healthier school in your community. 

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

Watch the Healthy Schools Certification: What does the Healthy Schools Approach really mean? Video to learn more.

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?

To learn more about becoming a Healthy School and about our Healthy School Grants, contact Client and Community Support at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006 or email