A healthy school is a place where students have many opportunities – in the classroom, and in every aspect of their school experience – to foster their healthy physical, mental, social and intellectual development. Healthy schools work with partners from the health and education sectors, and with those from the broader community, to support students to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Many schools across BC continue to develop innovative ways to support the health of their students, staff and community. Schools are creating walking school buses, connecting students with nature and community, building school-community food gardens, developing safe and caring school policies and practices, and offering healthy fundraising events.
We partner with many provincial and national organizations to inform and enable students, teachers and parents to create healthier school communities.
Healthy Schools BC
This key initiative of the Healthy Families BC strategy supports health, education, students, and community partners to work together to effectively create healthier schools using a comprehensive school health approach. Strengthened health-education-community partnerships, meaningful student engagement, coordination of existing school-based healthy living programs, and new tools and resources combine to support improvements in students’ health and learning. The initiative involves a partnership between the ministries of Health and Education, the Directorate of Agencies for School Health BC (DASH BC), health authorities, education partners, and other key stakeholders.
BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program
Provides fresh, BC grown fruits and vegetables to students in over 1,400 public and First Nations schools.
Daily Physical Activity
Since September 2008, all students from K to 12 are required to participate in regular physical activities that help develop endurance, strength and flexibility.
Farm to School Program
This school-based program connects schools (K-12) and local farms, with a goal to ensure children have access to fresh, local, nutritious, safe and culturally appropriate foods while at school. Farm to School programs aim to improve student nutrition while providing educational opportunities about food and the local food system.
Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools
Define the nutrition standard that schools are required to apply to all food and beverages sold to students.
All public and private Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools in BC are tobacco-free under the Tobacco Control Act.
Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health
BC participates in this Pan-Canadian partnership which builds and leverages expertise and capacity in the education and health sectors to affect an integrated approach to the optimal learning and health of children and youth.
Healthy schools promote and support healthy choices in a variety of ways, through education, policies, community partnerships and the school environment. Here are some healthy links:
An Ounce of Prevention Revisited
This report provides a review of health promotion and selected outcomes for children and youth in BC schools.
BC Adolescent Health Survey
The BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS) gathers information from BC students in grades 7 to 12 about their health and risk and protective factors in their lives. The survey is conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in collaboration with the provincial government and public health system, and with the cooperation of BC’s school districts. In 2013, 56 of the 59 school districts participated, with 29,000 students completing the survey.
PHSA Student Health Report
The Provincial Health Services Authority has released a new report, Student Health in BC: Provincial and Regional Highlights, designed to assist healthy schools stakeholders in identifying provincial and regional priorities and informing healthy school policies and initiatives, and to encourage dialogue and collaboration across sectors. The report presents provincial and regional student health data for seven priority areas: healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco use, healthy weight, mental health, learning to stay healthy at school and school connectedness.