News and Updates
February 20, 2017

Pink Shirt Day is on Wednesday, February 22nd. Join schools all over BC in support of the anti-bullying movement by wearing pink! This year, Shaw and Coast Capital Savings have teamed up with Pink Shirt Day BC and launched a social media campaign to raise funds and awareness for bullying prevention efforts across the province. Using #pinkshirtpromise between February 6th and 22nd can help make a difference across our province. To find out more, click here.   


There are many opportunities for schools to create positive learning environments for their students. Consider incorporating anti-bullying and positive mental health programming into your school’s curriculum and extracurricular activities. Here are some resources that can help you do this: 


Pink Shirt Day
This iconic day came to be when two high school students from Nova Scotia arranged for their classmates to wear pink shirts after witnessing a student getting bullied for wearing pink the day before. For more information on how to organize your own Pink Shirt Day, click here, and wear pink on February 22nd!


ERASE Bullying
The ERASE strategy is a comprehensive and multipronged approach to promoting positive mental health and wellness, and to prevent bullying and violent behaviour in schools. The strategy includes a coordinated approach involving schools, families and community partners. The ERASE Bullying website provides parents and students with helpful tips and advice on how to address bullying and includes a confidential online reporting tool for youth to report bullying.


WITS Programs
The WITS Programs bring schools, families and communities together to create responsive environments that help children deal with bullying and peer victimization. WITS has two components: the WITS Primary Program (Kindergarten to Grade 3) and the WITS LEADS Program (Grades 4 to 6).


JCSH Positive Mental Health Toolkit
The Positive Mental Health Toolkit is an online resource that promotes positive mental health practices and perspectives within a school environment. The toolkit is designed to help schools and communities apply their strengths to foster positive growth and development of children and youth.


RespectED: Beyond the Hurt
Beyond the Hurt is a Canadian Red Cross youth-facilitated program targeted at bullying and harassment prevention among children aged 11 and over.


SafeTeen is an empowerment program where facilitators offer skills for choosing healthy relationships, strategies to prevent bullying and harassment and techniques for de-escalating verbal, physical and emotional violence. Most importantly, the program cultivates empowerment, self-determination, critical thinking and self-esteem in children and youth.


For more resources related to bullying prevention and positive mental health, visit the Healthy Schools BC website!

January 23, 2017


The Spiral Playbook is a new resource that provides a concise introduction to an evidence-based model of collaborative inquiry. It builds on the momentum that has been generated through the Spirals of Inquiry by the Networks of Inquiry and Innovation (NOII) to further promote an inquiry mindset in schools and school systems. 

The Spiral Playbook is supported by C21 Canada, a national, not-for-profit organization advocating for innovations in student learning. The organization brings together executive leaders of school districts and knowledge-sector businesses who share the belief in the importance of 21st century competencies and innovations in learning.

The Spiral Playbook: Leading with an Inquiring Mindset in School Systems and Schools points the way forward.  It describes a sustainable approach to professional inquiry that aims to transform how educators learn and lead – with teams and across networks.

To view the Spiral Playbook and order copies, click here.

February 20, 2017


Regional Development Coordinators (RDCs) are key champions of Action Schools! BC. As the key support navigator and main “go-to” contact for schools, RDCs help each school embark on their unique journey to a healthier school community. To find the RDC responsible for your school district, click here.


Once schools have connected with their RDC, they can start developing an action plan. The action plan is central to the enhanced Action Schools! BC program. It outlines the changes a school wants to make and lists how and when these changes will be made along the journey to achieving a specific healthy living goal. It is the road map for a school.

Research has shown that, in order to influence students’ health in schools, improve students’ health literacy, and shift a school’s culture in a positive direction, a holistic sustained approach is necessary[1]. This is exactly what the action planning process aims to achieve.

Many schools in BC have already started developing action plans with their local RDCs. According to Action Schools! BC users and trainers, developing and implementing an action plan is worthwhile when trying to achieve positive change. It brings people together to develop a shared vision of their ideal healthy school and spurs them to action. Action plans are also the gateway to accessing valuable resources, such as Physical and Food Literacy Mentorship, customized equipment and ongoing support.

Creating healthier school environments is an essential building block in enabling students to thrive as healthy learners.  It is also an important step in supporting the well-being of educators, school staff and the wider school community.

Visit the Action Schools! BC website to learn more about action planning and to get in touch with your Regional Development Coordinator!

[1] Storey, K. E., Montemurro, G., Flynn, J., Schwartz, M., Wright, E., Osler, J., . . . Roberts, E. (2016). Essential Conditions for the Implementation of Comprehensive School Health to Achieve Changes in School Culture and Improvements in Health Behaviours of Students. BMC Public Health, 16(1). doi:10.1186/s12889-016-3787-1

February 20, 2017

Have you ever thought about addressing vulnerability in your school through art? An inner city school in Prince George is doing just that. Ron Brent Elementary reaches a diverse range of students, including many who have histories of trauma, poverty and crisis. Their philosophy is that these students can learn better if they have assistance to first learn to self-regulate, and then develop stamina and a belief in themselves that they can be successful in spite of the circumstances that challenge them.

Always looking to find new strategies that support their philosophy, the school decided to bring more art into their school.  Some of their staff were already familiar with art’s ability to contribute to social emotional learning for students.

They called the project “Artists in the Classroom” and chose resiliency as a key learning outcome. In addition to teaching staff, they got an Art Gallery Community Coordinator, Art Therapist consultant, Administration and School Counsellor on board. They ordered art supplies to create two lessons for three Primary classes. Lessons were collaboratively designed to help children express feelings and gain a sense of belonging within their school community. Staff met and presented the lessons and mentored other teachers to use the materials and lessons with their students. The school counsellor demonstrated the use of art in counseling in SMARTIME [stress management art and relaxation] sessions. Art was posted throughout the school for parents and students to appreciate.

Since the start of the project, teachers have observed and noted students’ increased self-expression abilities, social skills and self-awareness. This unique collaborative initiative contributed to the school’s learning and reinforced their belief that vulnerability can be addressed by using art to enhance social emotional learning and sense of belonging.

Visit the Healthy Schools BC Stories Map to learn more about Artists in the Classroom!