About this initiative
Healthy School Communities Certification
Schools participating in our Healthy School Communities Certification are guided through an evidence-based 6-step process to address the student’s health need and promote holistic well-being.
Healthy School Communities Certification is part of a pan-Canadian initiative that was developed and is ran in partnership with the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA). This certification process was designed and is guided by the internationally recognized comprehensive school health approach, which supports improvements in educational outcomes while addressing health in a planned, intentional, and holistic way. Further, this initiative has been proven to promote student leadership and engagement, build upon existing school initiatives and support and increase the capacity of schools to address a priority health need.
The Healthy School Communities Certification is guided by an evidence-based 6-step process. These steps are:
- Step 1: Establish your school team.
- Step 2: Assess you school community.
- Step 3: Identify your priority health topic (mental health, physical activity, healthy eating, substance use, or growth and development)
- Step 4: Develop an action plan
- Step 5: Take action and monitor progress
- Step 6: Celebrate and reflect
Participating schools receive ongoing guidance and support from their Regional Comprehensive School Health Facilitator throughout the process. Specifically, our facilitators are able to provide resources and expertise specific to regional needs and health topic, share lessons learned from other school health initiatives, connect schools to relevant grants, and provide workshops to aid in professional development.
Any K-12 school in British Columbia, including First Nations, Independent, and Public Schools are eligible to participate in the Certification. To register your school or learn more, reach out to your Regional Comprehensive School Health Facilitator.
Register for Healthy Schools Communities Certification.
“Really positive conversations come out of it [the certification]. It’s not a ton of extra work and everyone benefits. The staff like it, the students love it, and the parents seemed to really be on board with it so I would highly recommend it” – Vancouver Educator
“It’s nice to work with an organization and people that are going to listen to feedback and give lots of support. Whenever I had questions, I knew I could reach out to you [DASH] and that you would be giving lots of good ideas and resources to us. Nothing but good things to say about the process” – Vancouver Educator
“You’re doing it for the school, you’re doing it for the students, you’re doing it for the community” – Burnaby Educator
“Having the framework, having the resources… having DASH on our side definitely gave us energy and a goal to work towards” – Burnaby Educator
“If you walk into a school that has a healthy setting, you can feel that when you walk through the doors. It feels welcoming” – Valemount Educator
“My favourite part [about the certification] was getting to connect with the students at the school. I found that having the team of students involved in the planning really made it easy for us to pick activities that the students would enjoy, things that were beneficial for them” – North Vancouver Educator