SIMCOE COUNTY DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
Students and staff at Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) schools are celebrating after earning fifteen Healthy Schools certifications from Ophea. Ophea is a not-for-profit organization that champions healthy, active living in schools and communities and leads the provincial Healthy Schools initiative.
Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff and the broader community.
Participating schools complete the Six-Step Healthy Schools Process, which aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School resource.
Through a point-based system, schools planned their Healthy Schools process over the course of the school year. Schools outline the steps needed to achieve certification and apply to be certified as a gold, silver or bronze.
“We are proud to be part of the 238 schools across Ontario that have been certified as being a healthy school,” says Paula Murphy, superintendent of education and well-being, SCSDB. “Our schools focused on many areas - physical activity, healthy eating, safety and injury prevention, growth and development, mental health and addictions – to support the SCDSB’s strategic goal of well-being.”
This school year, SCDSB schools earned seven golds, three silvers, four bronzes and one participant level certification. View the full list here. Last year, SCDSB schools earned five certifications.
Here are highlights from some SCSDB schools that were successful in reaching certification with their initiatives this school year:
Baxter Central PS
Throughout the year, the school worked with community partners and the school council to implement healthy workshops and activities for students, families and the community.
The school’s goal is to help everyone feel healthy and included. The school held a healthy snack day, an anti-bullying assembly and an afternoon of activities that supported mental well-being for all students.
Students focused on mental health and participated in Mind Up wellness days, Building a Better Me day and anti-bullying initiatives. There is a whole school celebration taking place on June 5.
Nottawasaga and Creemore PS
The school focused on mental health by creating classroom calming corners, where a designated physical environment was designed to allow students to quickly access a quieter location to practice self-regulation and calming strategies.
Bear Creek SS
The Staff Wellness Committee at Bear Creek SS, in collaboration with the student-led Kodiak Wellness Team and community partners, decided the priority health topic for the year would be substance use, addiction and related behaviours. The school provided learning opportunities to staff and students throughout Addictions Week, including a Truth and Consequences Conference for Grade 9s.
Wyevale Central PS
The school received funding from the Ministry of Education to establish a disc golf course. Through a long-standing partnership between Tiny Township and a new partnership with the Ontario Disc Sports Association, the Wyevale Disc Golf Project led to many positive school-health related outcomes.
W.R. Best Memorial PS
With support from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, W.R. Best staff and students implemented the healthy PALS (Playground Activity Leader in Schools) program at recess to help increase physical activity.