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Healthy Schools Program

Healthy learners are better learners
A healthy school involves the whole school community, including administrators, teachers, families, students and community partners working together to build a healthy environment. A healthy school promotes the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of the whole school community. It is a healthy setting for living, learning, working and playing.

York Region Public Health provides support on a variety of health topics. Utilizing a comprehensive school health approach, we are committed to working with schools to promote health and well-being through our Healthy Schools Program.

York Region engages school staff, parents and students in identifying health issues that impact the school community and work together to develop a comprehensive plan to address them. We provide consultations, resources, links to community organizations, referrals to public health services and educational workshops, presentations and displays.

Steps to becoming a healthier school

To get started, talk to your school administration about becoming a healthy school. You can call call Access York 1-877-464-9675, TTY: 1-866-512-6228 to connect with your school’s Public Health Nurse who can guide you through the necessary steps.

Step 1: Form a Healthy Schools Committee

Form a committee that consists of a minimum of two school members. Ideally, your Healthy Schools Committee will contain staff, parents, students and your administrator.

Step 2: Identify strengths and needs

Survey your school to identify your school’s strengths and needs. Based on the survey results, identify the priority health topic. Please see the Healthy Schools Toolkit for sample needs assessment surveys.

Step 3: Develop and carry out an action plan

Develop an action plan to address your chosen health topic. The plan will outline the activities to be implemented in the school. To maximize your success, engage students throughout the entire process.

Address all five Foundations for a Healthy School to ensure your school is covering your priority health topic comprehensively.

  1. Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning
  2. School and classroom leadership
  3. Social and physical environments
  4. Student Engagement
  5. Home, school and community partnerships

Step 4: Evaluate and celebrate achievements

Review, evaluate and celebrate your healthy school activities and successes.

Note: Communication with the whole school community is necessary throughout all four steps. Use the Healthy Schools Toolkit.

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Healthy Schools Grant

York Region is committed to helping schools promote youth engagement, resiliency and developmental assets. All schools in York Region are eligible to apply for a health promotion grant at the beginning of the school year. The grant supports student-led healthy schools initiatives that use a comprehensive approach. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact SchoolServices@york.ca.

To receive an Action Plan template or if you are looking for additional ideas to comprehensively address health at your school, please contact your York Region Public Health Nurse or call Y Access York 1-877-464-9675, TTY: 1-866-512-6228 .

More information:

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Healthy Schools Program Resources

  • Healthy Schools Committee Member Handbook
    The purpose of the Healthy Schools Committee Member Handbook and Toolkit is to assist schools in creating a healthy school environment by providing strategies, tips and tools that focus on a comprehensive approach to school health. The Healthy Schools Committee Member Handbook will guide you through the four step process to help you along your Healthy Schools journey.
  • Healthy Schools Brochure
    The Healthy Schools Brochure provides an overview of the Healthy Schools Program, what the benefits are to becoming a healthy school, how to get started with the Healthy Schools process, and how York Region Public Health can support schools.
  • Healthy Start to School brochure
    The Healthy Start to School Brochure provides a few ideas to make starting school healthy and rewarding.
  • Healthy Schools Needs Assessment Brochure
    The Healthy Schools Needs Assessment brochure is a tool for secondary school students and teachers to help identify school strengths and needs.
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Parent Newsletter Inserts

York Region provides schools with up-to-date information on a variety of health topics. Each month, schools have the option to choose one or more inserts to place in their school newsletter or on their website. A school can choose an insert by the topic that matches their priority health topic.

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Curriculum Support Health Resources

Curriculum Support Health Resources are available to elementary and secondary schools to help enhance and supplement current programs on a variety of health topics. The following resources can assist teachers and staff by directing and guiding them to available resources. Key resources have been collected, organized and formatted to be accessible and user-friendly for staff.

Elementary

Secondary

For additional school resources on a variety of health topics, please visit Healthy Schools Resources.

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Contests and Campaigns

Ready, Set, Create!

The Ready, Set Create! contest is for secondary school students across York Region. Students have an opportunity to showcase their creativity by creating a poster on a health-related topic they believe impacts today’s youth and promote their message in their school. To create a wide variety of creative posters, students can use visual art, photography and computer generated images to highlight health messaging.

pause to PLAY

In partnership with York Region Public Health, the annual spring pause to PLAY challenge in York Region schools encourages students to put their TV’s, gaming devices, tablets and computers on “pause” for one full week and become more physically active through play. Parents can also join in with their kids at home!

Teachers and instructors can register their classrooms for the pause to PLAY challenge with the chance to win prizes. Public Health Nurses will support classrooms, students, schools and parents with pause to PLAY posters, scoresheets, tips and daily messages during the challenge. 

For more information on pause to PLAY, please email York Region Public Health School Services at: schoolservices@york.ca.

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e-Newsletter sign-up

Elementary schools

The healthy schools e-Newsletter is your place to find current health information on trending topics that matter to you and your school community.

Watch out for the new healthy schools newsletter coming your way this fall. It’s your spot for public health school related news, contests, and programs.

If you aren’t receiving this e-Newsletter yet, please click here to Subscribe or email us at schoolservices@york.ca

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