Healthy Schools Approach

To create a healthy school, the entire school community works together to help students, staff and parents make healthier choices that promote student wellness and learning.

A healthy school promotes:

  • Regular school attendance
  • A caring school community
  • Healthy lifestyle choices
  • Positive role modelling
  • Youth leadership skills
  • Parent engagement in their child’s learning
  • Community services and resources

Foundations for a healthy school

Generally, a healthy school includes all of the following:

  1. Curriculum, teaching and learning
  2. Classroom and school leadership
  3. Student engagement
  4. Social and physical environments
  5. Home, school and community partnerships

A healthy school considers the following health topics:

Check Foundations for a Healthy School from the Ministry of Education for examples of programs or projects you can try at your school.

How to create a healthy school

To get started, talk to your school principal about becoming a healthier school. If your school is ready to be a healthy school, follow the steps below. If you want help creating a healthy school, email a public health nurse at healthyschools@hamilton.ca to ask for assistance in your school.

1. Form a healthy school committee

You can form a committee or join an existing one made up of students, staff, parents and community partners. Your committee needs to meet regularly and work through the steps below to become a healthier school.

A Health Action Team, or HAT, is made up of students who work closely with school staff on the team. Together they plan and lead activities to achieve the goals and objectives set out in the School Health Plan. The Health Action Team could lead the school in becoming healthier, or members could join a larger healthy school committee.

2. Survey your school

Survey students, teachers and parents to identify the school’s strengths, needs and interests related to health. After surveying your school community, your team should prioritize which needs or interests to address.

3. Develop and carry out an action plan

Include students in the development of your action plan. Aim to add activities in these five areas over time:

  1. Curriculum, teaching and learning
  2. Classroom and school leadership
  3. Student engagement
  4. Social and physical environments
  5. Home, school and community partnerships

Check tools and toolkits from the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium of School Health to help develop your action plan.

4. Evaluate and celebrate achievements

Review, evaluate and celebrate your success in creating a healthier school.

Communicate with the whole school community as you work through all of the steps and plan your school health activities for the school.

Contact your public health nurse or email healthyschools@hamilton.ca for more information.

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