Healthy Schools BC

FAQs

Getting Started

Q. Who is this site for?

A. Healthy Schools BC has been developed for anyone in the province of BC who takes an interest in creating healthy school communities. Although the site's main purpose is to support educators in implementing healthy school programs using a Comprehensive School Health approach, it is also beneficial for the health sector, government, school administrators, and parents to name a few.

Q. Can students join this site?

A. No. As the site collects personal information during the registration process, students are not permitted to become a member of Healthy Schools BC unless they are over the age of 19 years. Students however can still enjoy many of the features of the site, such as searching for programs and resources, without  registering to become a member.

Q. What is the purpose of this site?

A. The purpose of this site is to create a consolidated resource, a "one-stop" access point to assist users in accessing the array of healthy schools resources available in BC. Healthy Schools BC also demonstrates how these programs can work together in a planned, coordinated way under the Comprehensive School Health approach.

Q. How do I register?

A. Registration is simple and fast. We'll ask you for your name, position, email and password. Once completed, your registration request is sent to DASH for approval. FYI, you'll have the opportunity to create a custom profile page once approved. This will tell members more about you and what you are interested in. Click here to register!

Q. What are the benefits of becoming a member?

A. Once a member, you will enjoy access to many features of the site. You will also become part of a community of members committed to furthering the healthy schools movement in BC. Some of the benefits of becoming a member are:

  • ability to add and create healthy school program/resource pages
  • ability to edit and update your profile and your program/resource content at your convenience
  • networking opportunities; ability to contact and connect with other members on the site
  • read the latest research on healthy school topics
  • comment on programs and research articles

Posting Your Program/Resource

Q. How do I get my healthy school program/resource listed on the site?

A. By becoming a member! Once you are a member, you can add your organization's program or resource by visiting the Programs and Supports tab and clicking the create button, which will bring you to a registration form.

Q. How do I know if my program will be approved?

A. It's easy…just click here to see if your program or resource meets our inclusion criteria.

The inclusion criteria was developed with the following considerations: Practicality (Is the practice practical for the community to adopt?); Plausibility (What is the likelihood that the practice will be effective based on its attributes?); Feasibility (Is the program possible to implement?). This more practical approach to the Healthy Schools BC website is supported by the literature.

Q. What is the program approval process?

A. Once you have reviewed the inclusion criteria and have completed and submitted the registration form, we will review, and approve, your program details. Although completing all the fields on the registration form is not mandatory, the more you tell us about your program/resource, the easier it is for people to understand what it is about!

Q. What is the difference between the Category Tags and CSH Pillar Tags?

A. In order to make it as easy as possible to find relevant programs, there are two sets of "tags"
to help identify characteristics of programs/resources on the site. The first relates to the 4
pillars of Comprehensive School Health (CSH).

The second sets of tags are "category tags" which basically help you identify the topic the
program addresses. We have organized the categories under 4 main headings which mirror
the 4 aspects outlined in the Healthy Living Performance Standards (HLPS):

  • Healthy Eating
  • Active Living
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Healthy Practices

Each of these main topics contain sub categories. The programs/resources are tagged using the sub categories to allow them to be more specific. 

You can search for programs/resources in one or more of the CSH pillars and/or by topics (sub categories). Each program/resource page will contain both the category and CSH pillar "tags".

Healthy Schools Stories Map

Q. What is the Healthy Schools Stories Map?

A. The Stories Map is a collection of health and learning related stories happening in schools all over BC.  Members of the website have the ability to either browse stories on the map, or contribute their own.  The Map supports peer to peer learning, and acknowledges the work happening around creating healthy schools in BC.  Many of the stories demonstrate how a Comprehensive School Health approach supports healthy schools.

Q. What is a story?

A. A story can be as simple as recounting a school event, or as involved as creating a narrative that displays how that story was part of something bigger for the school.  It can be a successful accomplishment, or a learning experience that others may benefit in reading.  There is value in peer to peer sharing and the Healthy Schools Stories Map aims to encourage this dialogue and support positive actions for BC schools.

Q. What should I write about?

A. Here are a few story ideas currently found on the Stories Map to get you started:

•Partnerships with community organizations
•Healthy school policies that had an impact on student behaviours
•Student led projects or initiatives
•Healthy fundraising campaigns
•School gardens
•And much more

Q.  Why does my story have to take place in a school?

A. All stories must be linked to a specific school in order to be pinpointed on the map.  For example, a story that takes place across a few schools will not show on the map unless a story is submitted for each school.  This is why each story must happen inside a school.

Sometimes it takes a whole school community to support a healthy school.  From government, to non-profit, to health professionals, many of our partners have school stories to share.  While many of these stories happen across entire school communities, please consider writing a story that speaks to the impact on a particular school.

Q. What if my organization works with multiple schools, how can I promote my company, program or resource?

A. If your organization has a program, initiative or resource available for BC schools that you’d like promoted, please contact us at info@healthyschoolsbc.ca for more information on how we can help.  

Creating Healthier Schools

Q. I am a teacher and want to implement a healthy school program in my school.
Where do I start?

A. A great place to start is by visiting the Healthy Schools Resources tab on the Healthy Schools BC site. This section walks you through a comprehensive and systematic approach to creating a healthy school based on best practices. The Healthy Schools BC Learning Framework guides you through the steps involved in creating an inquiry question on a healthy living topic. From there, you can implement a program! Click here to get started!

Alternatively, if you know what kind of program you'd like to implement, click here to start searching for programs and resources by topic, geographic location or a variety of other search parameters.

Q. I work in the health sector and want to support a school to start healthy school programs. What should I do?

A. We recommend you visit the Healthy Schools Resources tab on the site. This section will walk you through a comprehensive and systematic approach to creating a healthy school based on best practices. The Healthy Schools BC Learning Framework guides users through the steps involved in creating an inquiry question on a healthy living topic.

By understanding this process, you can identify where you can provide support to teachers through this process. For example, you may have statistics that can help them in their assessment or you could help them evaluate their program.

Q. I am looking for a specific healthy school topic but do not see any programs listed on the site. What can I do?

A. If you can't find what you're looking for, try the advanced search option. The advanced search helps members narrow down results by specific topic, community, and other helpful criteria.

If a topic or program doesn't exist on the site, please email info@healthyschoolsbc.ca and provide your feedback and suggestions.

Searching for programs/resources/members

Q. How did you decide how to organize topics?

A. We have organized the categories under 4 main headings which mirror the 4 aspects outlined in the Healthy Living Performance Standards (HLPS):

  • Healthy Eating
  • Active Living
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Healthy Practices

Each of these main topics contain sub categories - that allow us to be more specific under these broad headings.

Q. How do I contact other members on this site?

A. Once you are a member, you can contact other members directly through the site by sending them a message or an email by clicking the "Email" button. Both of these functions are located on the user's profile page. Click here to search through all members of the site.

You can also message a member through their Healthy Schools Stories to find out more about their experience and ask questions!

CSH Research

Q. Why do you use the CSH framework?

A. CSH is an internationally recognized framework for supporting improvements in students' educational outcomes while addressing school health in a planned, integrated and holistic way.

Research shows that a CSH approach can help schools achieve:

  • better learning outcomes for students;
  • better health and well-being for students, educators and staff;
  • more effective learning and teaching; and,
  • a more cooperative and connected school environment.

The benefits also extend beyond the school and its students. Because CSH involves community partners and service providers who, in many cases, provide support for families and others, using the CSH approach can also encourage:

  • increased feelings of support from school
  • improved behavior and healthy choices at home and in the community
  • enhanced resources and opportunities
  • development of unique networks of services and programs for all
  • increased understanding of connections between curriculum and real life.

Q. How do you decide what research articles to share?

A. Our goal is to share articles with you that pertain to the 4 aspects of healthy living and that are local, where possible. We try to provide you with research conducted in BC and throughout Canada. However we recognize some great research comes from other parts of the world as well so you will find other great articles on healthy schools topics on the portal.

Q. How do I submit research articles?

A. At this time, we are working with a group of researchers who share their research with us. In the near future, we will be allowing users to submit research articles directly onto the site… stay tuned!

If you do think you have an article that would be a great fit for the portal, please do let us know by emailing info@healthyschoolsbc.ca

Q. How do I share my healthy schools story on the site?

A. Once you are a member, you can share your story on our interactive Healthy Schools Stories map along with pictures and/or videos.

Read a story you liked? You can also message the owner of the story to learn about their experience, ask questions, and share ideas!

General

Q. Who maintains this site?

A. Healthy Schools BC is a partnership between DASH BC and the Ministries of Health and Education. The site is actively maintained by DASH BC.

Q. Who is DASH BC?

A. Incorporated in 1983, DASH BC is a not-for-profit society offering support, resources and tools to partners and stakeholders to develop and implement healthy schools initiatives across BC. To learn more about DASH BC and its work, please visit www.dashbc.ca.

Q. Is there a cost involved?

A. No! Becoming a member of the site and posting programs or resources is completely free!

Q. How can I keep up to date with healthy schools information in BC?

A. DASH BC produces a monthly Healthy Schools Newsletter every year from September to June. By subscribing to the newsletter, you'll receive healthy school information and happenings across the province. Sign up now!