Public health nurses in schools

The Halton Region Health Department has a mandate to work with schools to promote the optimal health and developmental potential of children and youth. Public health nurses (PHNs) work in schools to enhance the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of the entire school community by:

  • building relationships
  • collaborative planning
  • engagement of students, staff, and parents
  • development of community partnerships

PHNs in your school assist in improving your overall school health in many ways, including:

  • helping administrators develop a healthy setting for living, learning, and working.
  • working with students, parents, and staff to improve the school environment.
  • helping fulfill ministry mandates to promote parent engagement and inclusivity in schools.

How PHNs service schools

  • All schools will receive access to school health information and resources.
  • Intensive PHN support will be provided to school clusters (i.e., a high school and their feeder schools) selected by the school board. There will be a focus on schools in vulnerable communities (i.e., School of Focus).
  • Mental health liaison nurses will provide comprehensive mental health support in Halton’s elementary schools.

The role of the PHN at the selected cluster of schools

While working with a designated school champion within a school cluster, a PHN will work collaboratively with the school community to:

  • encourage the sharing of data and relevant learning with the school cluster.
  • facilitate communications to identify common issues and challenges that impact the school cluster.
  • identify and prioritize areas of potential joint action.
  • help develop a plan to address the needs of the school cluster.
  • promote family and youth engagement.
  • facilitate access to other community resources, programs and services.

The role of the PHN at the School of Focus

At the school of focus the PHN will:

  • provide consultation and support to help develop school action plans that align with School and Board Improvement Plans
  • identify school strengths, assess and prioritize school needs, and identify best practice approaches to address these needs.
  • plan, implement and evaluate health promotion strategies and activities on various issues (e.g., healthy eating, physical activity, bullying prevention, substance misuse).
  • provide curriculum consultation and support.
  • promote and support asset-based approaches and initiatives e.g., Developmental Assets®.
  • promote opportunities for skill development for staff and students.
  • participate on SSAT and other school committees.
  • meaningfully engage students, staff, parents and community partners.
  • facilitate access to community resources, programs and service.

For more information or consultation: