Comprehensive School Health works to:

  • Promote health and well-being for all members of the school community
  • Enhance learning outcomes
  • Uphold social justice and equity
  • Provide a safe and supportive learning environment
  • Encourage student participation and empowerment
  • Link health and education issues
  • Collaborate with parents and the local community
  • Integrate health into the school’s ongoing activities, curriculum and assessment standards
  • Set realistic goals built on data and sound scientific evidence
  • Seek continuous improvement through ongoing monitoring and evaluation

*Adapted from The International Union for Health Promotion and Education Guidelines for Promoting Health in Schools, 2009.

Why is school health so important?

The primary business of any school is education. However, research published by the World Health Organization, the Journal of School Health and many others shows that students learn best when they are healthy, safe and feel connected to their school. An investment in a healthy school community is an investment in student success.

The Healthy School Planner is based on the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH) Comprehensive School Health framework (sometimes referred to as Health Promoting Schools),--an internationally recognized framework for supporting improvements in students’ educational outcomes while addressing school health in a planned, integrated, and holistic way.

School health can be assessed by examining the four pillars of the Comprehensive School Health framework: social and physical environment; teaching and learning; healthy school policy; and partnerships and services. Several different modules (healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco reduction and positive mental health) are available in the Healthy School Planner to address different topics. Regardless of the topic identified, when all four pillars of the comprehensive school health framework are addressed, students are supported to realize their full potential as learners and healthy, productive members of society.

Promoting Healthy School Communities

The Healthy School Planner was developed to make it easy for schools to assess their school and to help make plans for improvements where necessary. After using the Planner, schools receive tailored feedback, and are provided a list of resources that will help them take action in areas selected for improvement. Schools can then share their results and achievements with staff, students, parents, and the broader community.

The Healthy School Planner is an initiative of the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH). Established in 2005, the JCSH is a partnership of federal, provincial, and territorial ministries of education and health from across Canada working together to promote the health of children and youth in the school setting.