Students and staff at five Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) schools are celebrating after earning Healthy Schools certification 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.
“I’m extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of the students and staff to take on this challenge and succeed,” says Superintendent of Education, Douglas Paul. “They have implemented new initiatives at their schools that will improve the health and well-being of their entire school community.”
To be eligible for certification, the schools had to follow a six-step process to implement change at their school in one of the following areas: physical activity, healthy eating, personal safety and injury prevention, growth and development, mental health and substance use or addictions and related behaviours.
The following schools were successful in reaching certification:
• Brechin Public School, Gold
o Student Mental Health Team created a new, safe space called the Peace Place for students to enjoy and de-stress
• Alliston Union Public School, Silver
o Positive quotes shared during morning announcements
o Pom Pom Pals: students created pals out of pom poms to share with classmates that are feeling down
o Family Movie night: families invited to watch ‘Inside Out’ with students and participate in button-making activities together
• Goodfellow Public School, Silver
o Build a Better Me Day: students participated in a day dedicated to mindful activities and learning about mental health
o Mind Up Day: students rotated around stations to practice Mind Up strategies and learned how these can benefit their mental health
o The Big Crunch: learning about nutrition positively impacting mental health in partnership with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.
• Wyevale Central PS, Silver
o Extensive participation in the SCDSB’s Pedometer Project
o Student leaders facilitated sports, games and more for the school community each day
o Incorporated DPA (daily physical activity) in all school activities and events
• Clearview Meadows Elementary School, Bronze
o Mindful Mondays: meditation in the library facilitated by Grade 8 students
o Brain Gym, Free the Numb Bumb and GoNoodle activities for Grades 1-4
o Calming music and videos on the main foyer TV
o Class sets of yoga mats available for use
o Grade 4-8 students participated in the Can You Feel It- Stress Management program delivered by Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit