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The Importance of Healthy Schools

Schools play a vital role in developing and supporting children as they grow and learn. Every teacher, parent, administrator and school staff member wants to see students succeed in school, and establish the skills, knowledge and readiness they will need as adults.

While Health and Physical Education (HPE) classes are an integral part of school health, the evidence is clear that the skills and knowledge gained through HPE programs alone are not enough to provide students with the strong foundation they need to lead lives that are physi­cally, emotionally, socially and mentally healthy.

By developing healthy school environments, we can set students up for success in the classroom and beyond.

Health in our schools must extend beyond the curriculum and the classroom to the entire school setting. Establishing physical and social environments, formal and informal learning and leadership opportunities, and rules and day-to-day practices that support and encourage healthy behaviours are all critical factors.

Research confirms that students do better in school when they are emotionally and physically healthy. They miss fewer classes, are less likely to engage in risky or antisocial behavior, concentrate more, and achieve higher test scores. Unfortunately, too many students go to class in less than optimal health.

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit is excited to be working with our local schools to create healthy school communities that support the wellness of all their members (students, teachers, staff, parents and volunteers).

All students and school staff members in Haldimand and Norfolk deserve a healthy school environment that supports their well-being and builds a foundation for learning.

Benefits of healthy schools

Comprehensive school health can effectively improve both health and education outcomes, and help students to be healthy, lifelong learners.

Healthy schools also support the development of many student competencies, such as critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, personal management, collaboration, and leadership.

What are the benefits for my school?

  • Enhanced physical, mental and social health of the whole school community
  • Improved academic achievement for students
  • Decreased behavioural issues in classroom and schoolyard
  • Healthier positive attitudes
  • Enhanced student engagement
  • Better school attendance
  • More parent involvement in school activities
  • Higher staff morale and productivity in a healthier, more productive workplace
  • Improved home, school and community partnerships
  • Complements your school improvement plans
  • Facilitates implementation of Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandums (e.g. Daily Physical Activity, School Food and Beverage, Concussion Policy)