Schools: Information for Educators
Last updated: August 17, 2023 @ 10:45 a.m
Peterborough Public Health works in partnership with school boards and school staff to support the health, safety and well-being of students, staff and their families. The School Team includes public health nurses, health promoters, registered dietitians and administrative assistants.
Healthy students are better learners and better educated individuals are healthier.
- Mental Health
- Substance Use Prevention
- Health & Physical Education
- Guide to Common Childhood Infections
- Let’s go to Kindergarten!
Mental Health School Newsletter Inserts (New May 2023!):
- A series of mental health newsletter inserts have been created collaboratively by Peterborough Public Health, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit and Durham Region Health Department.
Practical Resources to Support Student Mental Health:
- School Mental Health Ontario
Mental Health Education Resources for Teachers:
- a program to reduce stigma and link to teacher resource book, improving student knowledge and changing attitudes towards mental illness
- Resources for building educator confidence about substance use and abuse (Grades 1-10)
- Educating students about drug use and mental health – drug and alcohol policies in Ontario schools
- Educating students about drug use and mental health – Grade 1 to 8: Additional Resources/Campaigns
- Glossary of words for grades 1-10 related to drug use and mental health (some overlap with mental health literacy)
- Definition of Mental Health vs. Mental Health Problems, Mental Wellness vs. Mental Illness
- Prevalence, Stigma, Causes, and Promotion of MH
- Mental Health Literacy Lesson Plans added to Ophea’s H&PE Elementary Resources Grades 1-8 on ophea.net
- Physical and Health Education Canada
There are resources in our community where you can get help. For a listing of what’s available in the Peterborough Area and provincially, please visit our general Mental Health webpage.
- PPH Cannabis & Young People
- Cannabis and Schools – Rules and Resources for Educators
- Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 – How the Act Affects: Schools
- Vaping Resources for Educators: Vaping, Smoking and Online Safety – includes links to activities, resources and sample newsletter inserts
- Not an Experiment – developed for grades 7-12, this is a digital toolkit to educate and build capacity among educators and youth champions about e-cigarettes and vaping, including an interactive, yet educational escape room style activity
Content for administrators, educators and parent councils promoting healthy eating in schools
Healthier students are better prepared to learn.
Healthy eating is one of the curriculum-linked, health-related strategies that contributes to a positive school environment. When all activities at school are consistent with the nutrition information being taught in the classroom, students are better able to develop and practice lifelong healthy habits.
Does your school have a healthy food culture? Watch the video below to find out!
The benefits of a healthy food culture at school are endless. “It is important for teachers to establish a healthy eating environment in the classroom by ensuring that the topics taught, approaches taken and environments, in which students learn, are supportive of healthy eating”. (Ontario Ministry of Education, Elementary Teacher Resource Guide)
We are here to help create a healthy nutrition environment at your school!
Consult with a Public Health Registered Dietitian:
We can work with your healthy school committee, parent council and/or student councils to:
- help identify ways to improve your school’s nutrition culture; and
- ensure that foods being offered and sold at school meet your school board’s Nutrition Policy (KPRDSB and PVNCCDSB) and meet or exceed the Ministry of Education’s Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy (PPM 150).
Link to Educator Resources:
Find credible information to help teach healthy eating expectations in the classroom.
Healthy Eating Information:
- Canada’s Food Guide – Resources include ready-to-use presentations, toolkits and healthy eating information for different life stages.
- Bright Bites – Curriculum linked resources to teach nutrition in a positive way
- Food Literacy Peterborough – Virtual nutrition and cooking series includes 5 mini-episodes about nutrition, with Peterborough Public Health Registered Dietitians, and 7 mini-episodes showcasing healthy recipes and Canada’s Food Guide, with our chefs.
- Nutrition Labelling – An interactive tool to educate consumers about nutrition facts tables, % daily value, ingredient lists and nutrition claims
- UnlockFood.ca – A searchable site of nutrition topics and subject areas including types of foods, eating patterns and behaviours, chronic disease prevention, food preparation and planning.
- Growing Chefs Ontario – SUITABLE FOR VIRTUAL LESSONS – For Grades 1 to 8; grade-specific lesson plans to teach about food and meet curriculum expectations
- Teaching Canada’s Food Guide: Grade 3 – Includes hands-on activities to help children develop nutrition knowledge, food skills and confidence to plan and prepare healthy food.
- Farm to School Presentation
- Paint Your Plate – Lesson plans that encourage the consumption of fruit and vegetables for Grades 1-8
- Food Share – Teaching Teachers about Good Food – Lesson plans for JK – Grade 12.
- Ontario Agri-Food Education AgScape – Resources to support curriculum with agri-food concepts for Grades 7-12.
Food Literacy Activities:
- You’re the Chef – food literacy program for children 6-11 years. Free training, resources and equipment lending kits are available for educators.
- Ontario Edible Education Network – Resources to help get children and youth eating, growing, cooking, celebrating, and learning about healthy, local and sustainably produced food.
Share with Families:
- PPH Packing Healthy School Lunches Video – watch the video below for tips!
Support Student Nutrition Programs:
All students benefit from access to healthy food at school. Kids arrive at school hungry for many reasons: skipped breakfasts, early morning practices, long commutes, busy family routines and sometimes, not enough food at home. The program is non-stigmatizing when everyone participates!
- Ophea continues to provide critical support to educators.
- Active School Travel
- Active School Travel Peterborough: Teacher Resources and Lesson Plans
- Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada),
- PHE Time Videos – Featuring physical and health educators and Canadian Olympic athletes, the PHE Time Videos offer a series of virtual instructional videos to engage your students in physical education, healthy eating, and emotional well-being educational activities.
- Pathway to Stewardship and Kinship – Promotes and supports healthy childhood development, community connection and environmental stewardship through building an early and ongoing relationship with nature.
Active School Travel Peterborough is a partnership comprised of representatives from GreenUP, Peterborough Public Health, KPRDSB, PVNCCDSB, Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario, the City of Peterborough, County of Peterborough, The Crossing Guards of Peterborough, and the Peterborough Police Service.
AST Peterborough promotes the use of active and sustainable transportation for the daily trip to school, addressing health and traffic safety issues while taking action on air pollution and climate change. Schools are welcome to reach out to Active School Travel Peterborough for information and potentially support. More information and resources relating to active school travel can be found at Peterborough Moves website.
- October is International Walk to School Month
While COVID-19 means lots of changes in schools and daycares to keep everyone safe, one thing that hasn’t changed is the requirement to keep children on track with required routine immunizations. For more information on school immunizations visit PPH’s immunization webpage.
Link to Educator Resources
A Free school program for Grades 2-12 to learn about the immune system, staying healthy and the critical role vaccines play in sound public health strategies. Scroll to the ‘Teachers’ section of the webpage to find recorded sessions and activities to use in your lessons.
Guide to Common Childhood Infections
Guide to Common Childhood Infections – This quick reference guide lists common childhood infections (reportable and non-reportable) and provides information about how to recognize the infection, how the infection is spread and when to report/exclude from school or childcare.
Let’s go to Kindergarten 2023-Information and tips to help prepare children for a healthy start to kindergarten.