Safe and healthy schools

Publication Date: September 15, 2023

B.C. schools work to develop positive and welcoming cultures and are committed to providing good environments for learning.

Schools work to prevent problems through community building, fostering respect, inclusion, fairness and equity. Each school:

  • Sets, communicates and reinforces clear expectations of acceptable conduct
  • Teaches, models and encourages socially responsible behaviour
  • Works to solve problems peacefully
  • Places high value on diversity and defending human rights

Communicable Disease Guidelines


Handling Medical Conditions, Reactions & Pandemics

Ensure student safety by working with parents and guardians to tailor plans for students with specific medical needs. Also find out how to recognize key symptoms and learn what to do in an emergency.


Preparing for Heat Events

  • Heat events, also known as heatwaves, are a series of days that are hotter than normal temperatures for the region. As the climate changes, heat events will become more frequent, longer and hotter in B.C.
  • Schools can plan for heat events to support the safety and comfort of students and staff, and take actions like:
    • Closing shutters/blinds on south-facing windows.
    • Where available, utilizing air-conditioning systems for cooling.
    • Opening windows for cross-ventilation (if no air-conditioning system is available).
    • Using directional fans for airflow.
    • Using the coolest spaces within the school.
    • Ensuring students and staff have access to, and are drinking water throughout the day.
    • Adapting or pausing activities that generate heat (like moderate or vigorous physical activity).
    • If outside, seeking shaded and breezier areas.
    • Encourage sun safety when outside including applying sunscreen and wearing hats, sunglasses, and light-weight clothing in breathable materials.
    • Staff should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
    • Sharing information with their school communities about expected heat events, and what precautions can be taken at home. Information on preparing for heat events is available from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
  • Schools also work with their local regional health authority and use information from the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness website to determine what actions to take.   
  • Schools should be aware of students who may need more attention during heat events, including:
    • Students with disabilities or diverse abilities, with heightened attention to students who  use non-verbal communication or experience barriers to communicate.
    • Students with physical disabilities, with heightened attention to students who use mobility devices such as a wheelchair or other device that traps body heat.
    • Students with ADHD, depression, or similar, with heightened attention to students who use medications that can affect thermoregulation (e.g., Ritalin).
    • Students who use substances
  • The Ministry continues to work with school districts to determine opportunities for ensuring schools and other district facilities are prepared for heat events.



Selling Food and Drink

Utilizing the mandated policies in place helps maximize the nutritional daily standards for students. Find out how to offer healthy food and drink options for selling or vending at your school.  

Guidelines at a Glance Brochure:

Complete Guidelines for Food and Drink Sales:



erase is all about building safe and caring school communities. This includes empowering students, parents, educators and the community partners who support them to get help with challenges, report concerns to schools, and learn about complex issues facing students