Consider including community representatives on your team, such as health care providers, law enforcement officers/youth workers, registered dietitians, and/or representatives from community non-profit health organizations, local recreation departments, sport or youth groups, local businesses, etc. Representatives such as these individuals bring a broader perspective, as well as resources and supports to advance the health of the school community based on their roles and experience.
How to use the Healthy School Planner
Using the Healthy School Planner is easy. To get the most benefit from using the tool, start by:
- Forming a school health team. Choose people who you think represent your school and school community. The assessment and planning will be more meaningful, more widely accepted, and easier to implement if you work with school staff, students, community representatives and administrators.
- Deciding on a team leader. The leader can be someone from within the school (e.g., an administrator, a teacher) or from outside the school (e.g., a parent, community volunteer). The person who takes on this role should be organized, dedicated to the cause and able to motivate team members. Tasks may include convening and facilitating team meetings, reviewing school results and proposing what actions the school takes.
- Following the steps below to complete the Healthy School Planner.
STEP 1 – Register your team
Click here to start the registration process. This will take fewer than 5 minutes. You will need to answer a few questions about your school and decide on a user name and password. Share the new password with the members on your team so that they can log in, or have them log in as a guest, so they can see what the tool looks like, and get an understanding of the process and benefits of completing the tool.
STEP 2 – Complete a Module
With your team, begin by completing the foundational module. This will help the team to understand the process to be used to support a healthy school community. Next determine which module(s) you want to complete. Each topic area (physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco control, and positive mental health) provides an express module and a detailed module. The express modules are intended to give your school a brief overview of the key components for each topic area. The detailed modules are recommended for schools that are interested in exploring a topic area in greater detail. You may wish to assign sections to different team members based on their areas of expertise, or use informal working groups to gather information. Completing a module will take about 20 minutes.
Some of the questions require a subjective response, so the team and/or working group will need to reach consensus on the answer. Keep in mind that the purpose of the Healthy School Planner is to reflect on the current state of your school; there should be no concerns about “failing” or “looking bad.” Once you have completed the module(s) and submitted your responses, you will immediately receive a results rubric.
STEP 3 – Create an Action Plan
Once your team has reviewed the results, you are ready to develop a plan for improvements. As a team, identify which areas are most important to the school community right now. Try to limit plans to what you can realistically accomplish over a defined period of time.
Where possible, review and consider student level data to get a better sense of the overall health of the school community.
You will be given recommendations and links to resources to help you with this next stage of the process.
Step 4 - Celebrate! (and repeat)
Make sure you take time to celebrate your successes along the way. It’s important to acknowledge and share your achievements with the school community because it can help motivate you to continue and encourage others to support your work and your shared sense of team.
Repeat the process at planned time intervals (e.g., annually). The Healthy School Planner can be completed again whenever you’re interested in measuring your school’s progress on improving school health or a specific aspect of it. Results from all previous assessments that your school has completed will be kept available on your account to allow you to review previous assessment results and planning cycles. Your school will be able to measure its success over time and make new plans for the future.