Executive summary

The Foundations for a Healthy School resource contributes to a learning environment that promotes and supports child and student well-being. It focuses on the whole child and student – their cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development.

The research is clear: healthy students are better prepared to learn, and education is a key determinant of health. Elevating well-being as a goal for education in Ontario recognizes its fundamental importance to our learners and their futures.

This resource supports the integration of healthy schools policies, programs and initiatives into school and school board planning and implementation processes. It aligns with the Kindergarten–12 School Effectiveness Framework (K-12 SEF) by including five interconnected areas that relate closely with the components of the K-12 SEF:

  1. curriculum, teaching and learning
  2. school and classroom leadership
  3. student engagement
  4. social and physical environments
  5. home, school and community partnerships

Taking all of these five, interconnected areas into account will help schools, school boards, parents and community partners to work together to develop a comprehensive approach to healthy schools policies, programs and initiatives.

Foundations for a healthy school: diagram

This resource outlines how schools and school boards, in partnership with parents and the community, can develop a healthier school.

This graphic provides an at-a-glance overview of the Foundations for a Healthy School.


There is a big circle that contains a hub and spoke wheel structure. It is positioned just above three boxes lined up horizontally across the page. Behind all these shapes is a larger, light-shaded background box that shows the circle and boxes are related.
The hub and spoke wheel element of the diagram depicts the five areas that contribute to a healthy school.
The centre of the hub and spoke wheel has the words 'healthy school'. This is surrounded by a ring which has the words 'student', 'classroom' and 'school' with arrows pointing both ways between each word indicating these words move either way to relate to all the five areas of the outermost ring of the wheel. The outermost ring of the wheel diagram is evenly divided into five sections with the words "Curriculum, teaching and learning, 'School & classroom leadership', 'Student engagement', Social & physical environments' and Home, school & community partnerships'.
Below the circle, there are three boxes laid out horizontally within the background of the light shaded box that connects these boxes to the circle above. The first box on the left side is titled "Integrated Approach". This box states: "Key to building a strong foundation is the use of an integrated approach to address a range of health-related topics.
The middle box is titled "Health-Related Topics". This box states: "This resource provides many sample strategies and activities related to six curriculum-linked, health-related topics. A school may choose to address these topics and related living skills in its efforts to become healthier. It then lists these topics: physical activity, healthy eating, personal safety and injury prevention, growth and development, mental health and lastly, substance use, addictions and related behaviours.
The last box on the right side is headed "Positive school climate". It states: "Collectively, strategies and activities undertaken within these areas also contribute to a positive school climate, which is also key to a healthy school.


Contact us

For a copy of any of these guides, please email: SafeandHealthySchoolsBranch@ontario.ca.


If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact information.met@ontario.ca. We will:

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