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Schools & Child Care

School Administrators

The creation of healthy school environments is heavily influenced by school and classroom leadership. Please click on the links below for resources and supports that may be of interest to you and your school.

School and classroom leadership are important elements of a Healthy School.

We can partner with you to help make your school community a healthier place for all.

Consider becoming your school’s Healthy Schools champion or appoint another member of your team to take on a leadership role. Healthy Schools champions work with other school staff, students, school community, community partners to share the responsibility for planning and implementing school health and well-being activities.

 

Supporting student mental wellness requires various tiers of support. School Mental Health Ontario has a variety of resources to help administrators and educators promote positive mental health in schools and classrooms.

School Health public health nurses can assist with the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive plan to promote positive mental health and well-being (Tier 1 activities) in your school.

We also offer ideas to help inform the development of your school action plan. Contact us to access mental health promotion supports.

In Ontario, under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), health units are required to collect and maintain up-to-date immunization records for all students.

For more information about immunization requirements by age cohort and surveillance plans for the current school year, please visit the SMDHU’s Immunization of School Pupils Act webpage.

For information about COVID-19 immunization, please visit: the SMDHU’s COVID-19 Vaccination page.

As a school administrator, you have responsibilities for reporting infectious diseases and exposures to your local public health unit. The information below is intended to assist you:

Creating safe and healthy environments is an important component of promoting overall health and well-being among staff, students and the school community. We have information to help you:

Smoking and vaping on school property, including smoking and vaping of cannabis, are prohibited at all times. This includes smoking or vaping on public areas within 20 metres of the school's grounds.

We have information to help you with:

Tobacco Enforcement Officers conduct inspections to assess and address concerns related to SFOA compliance. School administrators and staff can now submit our school witness report form online.

While many youth and young adults understand the dangers of smoking, vaping is now addicting youth to nicotine instead of cigarettes.

Schools provide an ideal setting to teach young people about e-cigarettes and vaping to help prevent them from starting or to quit.

The Not An Experiment initiative was developed in response to the need for teaching tools to help address youth vaping. More information about this initiative, the resources available and the support the health unit’s smoke-free program can provide can be found here.

Creating opportunities for meaningful youth engagement, as well as parent and family engagement, are key steps in the Healthy Schools approach. Students and families bring a unique perspective and can offer creative solutions. In planning your school’s health and well-being initiatives, we encourage you to consider student voice and parent engagement initiatives, as part of the process.

Embracing diversity within schools helps to create an inclusive environment and provides a foundation for student health, well-being and academic achievement.

Greater equity means greater student success (Ontario, Ministry of Education).

The whole community benefits when a school takes action to value, include and respect all people and remove barriers to engaging fully at school. Promoting social inclusion, and reducing the stigma that leads to discrimination, are best practices to promote positive mental health and well-being in children and youth.

Here, you will find some additional information to consider when planning Healthy Schools initiatives:

Creating inclusive committees, with representation from all social, cultural and economic groups and student populations, is one of the first steps in the Healthy Schools approach.

Additional Resources:

  • The Rick Hansen School Program. This comprehensive bilingual school program offers free curriculum based toolkits for kindergarten to Grade 12 and resources to engage youth in social activism and leadership. In addition, the Rick Hansen Foundation offers free ‘Ambassador’ presentations to schools so that students can learn firsthand about disability, accessibility and inclusion from a diverse group of people with mobility, vision and hearing disabilities. For more information, visit https://www.rickhansen.com/schools-communities/ambassador-program.

"Community partnerships provide access to resources and services available to support staff, students, and families in the development and implementation of Healthy Schools initiatives. Various organizations can deliver services within the school setting, including public health." Ministry of Education: Foundations for a Healthy School.

Information about local community partnerships is available here.

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