Foundations for Healthy Schools Approach
It is important to apply a Foundations for a Healthy Schools Approach when implementing the YMHAC Initiative. The Healthy Schools Approach is an internationally recognized framework also supported by the Ontario Ministry of Education to support improvements in students’ educational outcomes while addressing school health in a planned, integrated and holistic way. It’s rooted in the theory that health and education are interdependent: healthy students are better prepared to learn, and education is a key determinant of health.
In Ontario, Healthy Schools uses five interconnected components to address school health in a comprehensive way.
- Curriculum, teaching and learning: Different learning opportunities before, after and during school that help students to learn, practice and promote positive and healthy behaviours.
- School and classroom leadership: An understanding of shared goals and needs of a school community through dialogue that involves school staff, parents, students, and community partners.
- Student engagement: Students are engaged in and lead academic and non-academic activities that help them develop a sense of self and belonging.
- Social and physical environments: Creating safe and caring social and physical environments helps students to feel safe, engaged and empowered.
- Home, school and community partnerships: Using the strengths of the community to support, enhance and promote opportunities for learning and well-being.
Taking an integrated approach while implementing the YMHAC Initiative means that schools are addressing health in a holistic way, and contributing to a positive school climate in which positive relationships between school staff, parents, students, and community partners are developed and sustained.
For more information, see Foundations for a Healthy Schools Approach.