How to assess health and wellness in school communities
The Joint Consortium for School Health, a partnership of 25 Ministries of Health and Education across Canada working to promote a Comprehensive School Health approach to health and wellbeing in schools, has developed a tool for evaluating the status of health in schools. This free online tool, currently used by over 400 schools across Canada, is called the Healthy School Planner. It is available to schools, practical and fast, and requires only 20 minutes to complete.
Schools can use the Healthy School Planner to assess their current health environment and develop a plan to make improvements. Schools receive tailored feedback and a list of resources to help them take action in areas selected for improvement, enabling them to develop improvement initiatives based on current capacity. After schools have completed this planner, divisions can request aggregate information to evaluate the state of school health in their jurisdiction.
Take this opportunity to monitor and evaluate health and wellbeing in your school division. Provide an important resource to your schools to better understand and support the health of your students. Access the Healthy School Planner here
Health at the division level
Alberta Health Services Health Promotion Coordinators (HPC) support school divisions throughout the province, building healthy school communities using a Comprehensive School Health (CSH) approach. Every school jurisdiction has a HPC assigned to support school health. Activities include forming wellness teams that engage diverse stakeholder groups, engaging students as leaders and developing and implementing action plans that improve health outcomes for students.
In 2014-2015, HPCs worked with 368 partners representing health, education, and other sectors to support health initiatives targeting children and youth. Tap into the expertise of your HPC and better support healthy school communities. To identify who the HPCs are for your jurisdiction, email email@example.com.
Alberta Health Services makes available a series of newsletters for parents. Check out the Healthy Children and Healthy Teens newsletters at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/9539.asp. These newsletters are written for parents of elementary students and junior/senior high students to provide reliable and relevant information about specific health topics. Newsletters are available in French or English. Empower your parents. Create parent partnerships to support the health of our students.
The ASBA Task Force on Student Health and Wellness continues to value and build partnerships in support of student health. On July 17 the Alberta School Boards Association and the Alberta Medical Association, under the signatures of their respective presidents, forwarded a letter to the Ministers of Education and Health advocating for renewed or expanded funding in support of the Wellness Fund and Ever Active Schools.
The Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund has provided funding support to 56 of the 61 public, separate and francophone school jurisdictions across the province. Data shows positive outcomes when wellness grants are provided.
Ever Active Schools is an important provincial organization that supports school health and is one of ASBA’s key partners in the world of health and wellbeing. Together, we’re creating success through collaboration in the 21st century.