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A healthy school is one where school administration, teachers, parents, students and community agencies work together to create an environment that will have a positive impact on a child’s health and learning.
"Healthy Learners are Better Learners" (Health Canada)
A Healthy School Approach involves the whole school community coming together to share ideas, plan, and take action to help kids lead healthy and active lives. (OPHEA, 2015)
A Healthy School builds a healthy setting for the whole school community to live, learn, work, and play. Benefits of a Healthy School include:
(OPHEA 2015, and Joint Consortium for School Health, 2015)
Health and education are interdependent: healthy students are better prepared to learn, and education is a key determinant of health.
According to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care's philosophy and Foundations for a Healthy School in Ontario, healthy schools use 5 interconnected areas to address school health in a comprehensive way:
1. Curriculum, Teaching and Learning: Different learning opportunities before, after and during school that help students to learn, practice and promote positive and healthy behaviours
2. School & Classroom Leadership: Develop an understanding of shared goals and needs of a school community through dialogue that involves school staff, parents, students, and community partners
3. Student Engagement: Students are engaged in and lead academic and non-academic activities that help them develop a sense of self and belonging.
4. Social and Physical Environments: Creating safe and caring social and physical environments helps students to feel safe, engaged, and empowered.
5. Home, School and Community Partnerships: Utilizing strengths of the community to support, enhance and promote opportunities for learning and well-being.
In using these 5 interconnected areas, it is important for school communities to use an integrated approach. Taking an integrated approach means that schools are addressing health related topics in a holistic way, such as through the development of healthy school policies, programs, and initiatives.
Using an integrated approach to address different health topics contributes to a positive school climate in which positive relationships between school staff, parents, students, and community partners are developed and sustained.
Adapted from Foundations for a Healthy School Ministry of Education and the Government of Ontario and OPHEA.
Download the complete Foundations for a Healthy School (PDF resource) from the Ministry of Education.
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Halton Region is composed of
the City of Burlington,
the Town of Halton Hills,
the Town of Milton,
and the Town of Oakville .