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Health and education are linked. Healthy young people are better learners and are more likely to complete their education. Those with a good education are more likely to have better health status.
We are your partners in health!
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health works in partnership with school boards and schools to create healthy and supportive environments for students, staff, families and community partners. This work involves:
- providing services, such as immunizations or oral health screenings, either directly within schools or in our Public Health offices; and
- offering health promotion information, resources, and programs on topics such as healthy eating, physical activity and tobacco.
The Important Role of Schools
Promoting well-being is one of the core goals of the Ontario Ministry of Educaton's Achieving Excellence vision. Schools are tasked with developing learning environments that promote and support student well-being - to focus not just on academic success, but also on the whole child so that they may reach their full potential.
By providing quality instruction of the Health & Physical Education curriculum; building school environments that reinforce the health lessons taught in class; and implementing healthy school policies, students will be more likely to adopt healthy behaviours and maintain them throughout their lives.
School Health Situational Assessment (2018-2019)
We asked, you answered!
During the 2018-2019 school year, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH), Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board (ALCDSB), and Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) worked together to find out what local schools need to support the well-being of students. We heard from elementary and secondary: educators, school administrators, office administrators, Early Childhood Educators, custodians, Child and Youth Workers/Counsellors, school board staff and Directors of Education. Many of our local partners answered survey questions, attended focus groups or were interviewed to help us determine how we can work together to build healthy school communities.
We have the results! Here is a snapshot of what was learned.
Want to dig deeper? Read the full report.
Thank you to those who provided input! Watch for more details in the Fall of how HPEPH, ALCDSB, and HPEDSB will move the results into actions.
Together we can create healthy school communities!
General Resources from Public Health:
- 'Welcome to Kindergarten!' Resource
- 'Healthy Bodies - Healthy Minds' Display Series (set of 3 displays available for borrowing. Contact 613-966-5500 ext. 279)
Read through the health topic pages listed above to learn more about how Public Health can support your school.
Learn more about Healthy Schools :
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Alcohol and substance misuse education in the school and classroom setting is essential to assist students in developing the necessary skills and knowledge to make healthier choices. Classroom teachers have a unique opportunity to positively influence the lifestyle choices of their students through role modeling, knowledge, and teaching. Alcohol and substance misuse education in the classroom is best achieved by:
- Engaging students in exploring real-world situations and issues related to alcohol and substance use.
- Establishing a learning environment that includes positive role models.
- Connecting with community partners with topic expertise, to support curriculum linked learning in the classroom.
- Providing opportunities for students to practice making reasoned decisions.
- Engaging students in learning through problem-solving.
- Assisting students in making cross-curricular connections between personal choices related to substance use or misuse and potential outcomes.
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse - Additional information and resources on topics like impaired driving, sports and youth substance abuse, and standards for youth substance use prevention.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - Access to research and publications on mental health and substance use topics, including alcohol use in youth. CAMH houses the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey. Provincial trends from this survey are summarized in interactive infographics for substance use and mental health and well-being.
MADD Canada - Youth services and awareness campaigns aimed at stopping impaired driving.
Evidence-Based Curriculum Support
Parent Action on Drugs – Resources and programs for peer education and youth engagement
Project Alert – Free substance abuse prevention curriculum for grades 7 and 8 with complimentary teacher training, lesson plans, posters, videos, and newsletters.
Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (OPHEA) – Programs and services for healthy schools. Level Up and YouThrive are free resources that address mental health, substance use, and health behaviours.
KidsHealth in the Classroom – Resources and lesson plans for kindergarten to grade 12 about health topics, including alcohol and other drugs.
The Fourth R – Programs that engage students in healthy relationships and decision-making to reduce risk behaviours like substance abuse.
Media Smarts – A lesson for grades 7-9 that highlights seven common myths about alcohol present in media messaging.
Strategies for Parents to Prevent or Delay Teen Substance Use - A guide with six parenting strategies to prevent or delay teen substance use.
Our youth identify that they use cannabis and other drugs to enhance their social experience and to cope with stress and mental health issues. Regular and early use of cannabis in adolescence can cause harm to the developing brain and is linked with behavioural, physical and mental health issues. While it is recommended not to use cannabis at all, youth can reduce their risks by waiting as long as possible before beginning use. Educators play a key role in healthy student development. It is important for teachers, coaches and other trusted adults to be ready to talk with youth about cannabis and other drugs.
- Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).
- Online Learning for the Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence - Provides an excellent overview of the topic.
- Cannabis and Youth – A great source of best practice information.
- Online Learning for the Effects of Cannabis Use during Adolescence - Provides an excellent overview of the topic.
Canada’s Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines – Information on low-risk use of cannabis.
- Parent Action Pack - Provides parents with information about alcohol and drugs to prepare parents to have conversations with their teens.
You, Your Teen, and Substance Use - A guide to help parents understand and talk to teens about substance use.
Evidence – Based Curriculum Supports:
- Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research.
- Cycles is a film-based resource that encourages teens to talk openly and honestly about why some young people use cannabis.
- iMinds is a health education resource for grades 9-10 which aims to help students maximize their drug literacy, by building knowledge and skills needed to survive and thrive in a world where drug use is common.
- Cycles is a film-based resource that encourages teens to talk openly and honestly about why some young people use cannabis.
Project Alert - Free substance abuse prevention curriculum for grades 7 and 8 with complimentary teacher training, lesson plans, posters, videos, and newsletters.
- Kids Health - The activities in this Teacher's Guide will help students learn what drugs do to the body and mind, the dangers of using drugs, and how they can handle peer pressure to use drugs.
Short animated video about the effects of cannabis on the teenage brain.
- Sensible Cannabis Education - A Toolkit for Educating Youth - Created for educators, as well as parents, this resource aims to support adults in having informed and non-judgmental conversations with young people about cannabis.
Cannabis Talk Kit: Know how to talk with teens - Provides information for parents and educators to support conversations with teens about cannabis.
- Clearing the Air: Lower-Risk Cannabis Use on Campus - Helping campuses promote the safer use of alcohol and other drugs. This is one in a series of resources meant to guide the development of specific tools to promote elements of a comprehensive approach to psychoactive substance use within a post-secondary institution’s community.
Cannabis: What Parents/Guardians and Caregivers Need to Know – This fact sheet on recreational cannabis is for parents/guardians and caregivers of youth in grades 6 to 12. It provides information about cannabis, cannabis legalization, risks, signs of a problem, how to help your child, and where to get more information and support.
- Positive Choices - Drug Education: Teacher Booklet - This resource has been developed to inform and educator teachers about illegal drugs and prevent and reduce the harms associated with illegal drug use.
OPHEA is working on providing teachers with instructional, classroom-based resources to support the delivery of cannabis education to their students through the Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum (from grades 1 -12). Ophea is aiming to have resources available in Fall 2018.
Where do I refer a student who may need help?
- Kids Help Phone - 24/7 counselling online or on the phone at 1 800 668-6868 or https://kidshelpphone.ca/article/cannabis-important-things-know.
ConnexOntario - Drug and Alcohol Helpline:Provides free and confidential health services information for people experiencing problems with alcohol, drugs, mental health or gambling. 1 800 565-8603 or http://www.connexontario.ca. This includes a link to Mind Your Mind – online tools and apps for youth ages 14-29.
- Children's Mental Health Services - An agency dedicated to serving children, youth and their families in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. Funded by Ministry of Children and Youth Services, all services are provided free of charge.
Illicit Fentanyl in Our Community
The presence of illicit (non-prescription) fentanyl and other illicit drugs containing fentanyl have been identified within Hastings and Prince Edward Counties and surrounding regions. Fentanyl can be fatal even in small amounts.
Curiosity and risk taking are a normal part of the teen and young adult years. The teenage brain continues to develop throughout the early part of adulthood – especially the areas in charge of impulse control. A student may find themselves in a risky situation where alcohol and drugs may be available.
Talk to students about the risks of drug use and overdose. Fact sheets are available to help lead classroom discussions, to share with parents, and for students themselves.
Help reduce the risk of overdose – educate students about the drug; the signs of an overdose; and what to do if someone is in trouble.
To find a free naloxone kit please contact:
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
179 N Park St., Belleville
499 Dundas St. West, Trenton
1 Manor Lane, Bancroft
35 Bridge St., Picton
Belleville Quinte West Community Health Center
161 Bridge St W, Belleville
70 Murphy St, Trenton
Marmora Medical Family Health
1 Madoc St., Marmora
Addiction and Mental Health Services
15 Victoria Ave, Belleville
North Hastings Community Trust
23 Bridge St., Bancroft
Participating pharmacies see: ontario.ca/naloxone
- Fentanyl Fact Sheet for Parents
- Fentanyl Fact Sheet for Students
- Naloxone Training Manual for Secondary Schools in Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board
- Opioid Overdose: Prevent Recognize and Treat Fact Sheet
- Staying Safer when using Opiates - Pamphlet
Asthma is the most common chronic health condition among children in Ontario. Encourage all school staff and volunteers to learn about asthma and create an asthma-friendly school environment where children are supported to manage their asthma.
Ophea's Asthma Education Initiative includes free resources about asthma management in schools. Supports include:
- An online support network to help support the implementation of Ryan's Law, 2015
- Asthma resource kits for principals and educators
- Checklists for creating asthma friendly schools
The Clean Air Checklist is a tool for classroom teachers to use to improve the air quality in their classroom.
The Ontario Lung Association provides information about asthma and asthma management, free resources, and links to community programs.
Secondary school students who are working in the food industry are welcome to participate in Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s Food Handler Training Program.
A healthy school nutrition environment exists when schools promote healthy eating through both words and actions. Delivering and modeling consistent messages about nutrition and the food environment ensures that students get the same information about healthy eating whether they are selling items to raise funds, purchasing a snack in the school, or learning in the classroom.
Canada's Food Guide
- Canada's Food Guide – Outlines a healthy pattern of eating for Canadians that includes recommendations on food choices and eating habits.
Promoting Positive Body Image
Educators play a role in providing consistent messages to promote positive body image. Words and actions related to body shape and size that are thought to be helpful may have unintended effects. When children and youth feel good about themselves and their bodies, they are more likely to adopt healthy behaviours like eating well and being active.
Resources and Supports:
- Healthy Bodies - Eat Well, be Active, and Feel Good about Yourself – An overview of key messages related to healthy eating, physical activity, and self esteem.
- National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) – A non-profit organization with resources on eating disorders and body image.
- Reflections on Body Image: The ETFO Body Image Project – An overview of body image in terms of child development and a list of key resources.
P/PM 150 School Food and Beverage Policy
The Ministry of Education issued the School Food and Beverage Policy in 2011. Supporting Tools:
Healthy School Environment
- Foundations for a Healthy School - A resource for healthy school planning from the Ministry of Education, with sample strategies and activities related to healthy eating.
- Guide to School Gardens – Information to create and sustain a school garden, including curriculum connections and resources.
- Fresh from the Farm – Now available in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, this program offers a healthy alternative to traditional fundraising. Students can sell Ontario-grown produce to raise funds while promoting healthy eating habits.
- Bake it Up! – Give your next bake sale a healthy makeover with tasty recipes that comply with the PPM150 Sell Most criteria.
- Bright Bites – Resources and activities to help schools transform their food and nutrition environment – one bite at a time. School teams can earn badges and compete with other Ontario schools in the Hall of Fame.
- Ophea Teaching Tools – Access lesson plans, supplements, and activities to teacher healthy, active living in compliance with the Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum.
- Eat Well and Be Active Educational Toolkit – A poster, activity plans, and images to facilitate teaching about healthy eating and physical activity.
- My Food Guide – An interactive tool that allows students to select their favourite types of food from each food group to create a personalized, printable Food Guide.
- Healthy Kids Quest – A series of free, downloadable modules on healthy eating and physical activity designed for grade 1-3 classes across Canada.
Student Nutrition Supports
Addressing Hungry Students
When teaching about nutrition, it is important to recognize that students may not have access to healthy food or control over the food choices available to them. While it is important to encourage students to bring healthy lunches and snacks to school, they should not feel penalized or stigmatized if they are unable to do so.
Resources and Supports:
- Food Access Guide – Information on free and low cost food and meal programs in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties including emergency food services, food box programs, and community gardens.
- Food For Learning – The lead agency for Student Nutrition Programs, providing financial and organizational support for schools offering meals and/or snack programs for students.
- Popular Fact Sheets for Parents
- At-A-Glance Guide to Ontario's School Food and Beverage Policy – An overview of PPM 150 for parents and students.
General Nutrition Support
- Healthy Life Line - To speak to a dietitian from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health about your school's nutrition environment, call the Healthy Life Line at 613-966-5500, ext. 610 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 610. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s Vaccine Preventable Disease Program conducts two main programs in partnership with schools:
Annual assessment and maintenance of student immunization records under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA)
School-based immunization clinics (Grade 7 hepatitis B/HPV/meningococcal vaccines)
1. Annual Assessment of Immunization Records
This activity, perhaps better known as the ‘suspension process,’ is required under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). Public Health is required to have an up-to-date immunization record for all students attending school. An exemption from immunizations for religious or conscientious reasons can be obtained by: 1) attending an education session held within Public Health offices and 2) completing the appropriate form available for parents/legal guardian found on our website. An exemption from immunizations for medical reasons can be obtained by having a Medical Exemption Form completed. Completed exemption forms must be sent to Public Health. Only original documents will be accepted.
Overview of the Process
- Upon enrolment to school, all parents/students are asked to complete a School Immunization History Form (link found below) and attach a copy of their immunization record. The completed forms and records should be forwarded by the school to Public Health on a weekly basis via the school board courier system (using the light blue folders), or by faxing the forms to 613-966-8145 or by an alternative secure delivery method.
- Public Health inputs immunization records into the provincial immunization database.
- During the school year, Public Health will request immunization updates from students in the form of a letter.
- Public Health will issue an Order of Suspension to students who are overdue or missing immunization information.
- Public Health will provide each principal with a list of students receiving an Order of Suspension.
- Once a principal receives notification of an Order of Suspension for a student, the student MUST be suspended from attending school as of the date on the Order, until either 20 school days has elapsed, or the principal receives notice from Public Health that the Order has been rescinded.
2. School-based Immunization Clinics
Public Health will provide hepatitis B, meningococcal and HPV immunizations to grade 7 students. Immunization nurses arrange the clinics with each individual school.
*Room Set-Up/Assistance Requested from Schools for Adequate Space
In order to provide a safe environment for administering immunizations, it is VERY important for staff to have adequate space and seating to immunize approximately 10-15 students at one time. Staff prefer to be in a large room such as a library or gym, however other rooms may be suitable as long as they are large enough and have adequate light, air flow and space. Please avoid stage areas if other activities are happening at the same times as the clinic. Tables and chairs are also required. Your assistance is appreciated! For more information, please see School Immunization Clinics Required Practice Guidelines.
Important Document Links
Immunization Line: 613-966-5500 ext. 221, Fax: 613-966-8145
Children in schools are more prone to infection. A higher number of respiratory and enteric illnesses occur in this setting. To help prevent the spread of communicable diseases in schools:
- Ensure children in your school are immunized.
- Encourage parents to keep ill children home until they are well enough to participate in all activities.
- Teach children good personal hygiene, including handwashing, not sharing personal items, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or their elbow.
- Properly clean and disinfect surfaces in your school.
Reporting of Communicable Diseases in Schools
Section 265 of the Ontario Education Act prescribes that it is the duty of the principal to report promptly to the school board and to the Medical Officer of Health when the principal has reason to suspect the existence of any communicable disease in the school, and of the unsanitary condition of any part of the school building or the school grounds.
There is a list of Reportable Diseases, as specified under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, which are to be reported to the local Medical Officer of Health.
To report a suspected communicable disease in the school, or absenteeism rates over 10% in elementary schools and 20% in secondary schools (all causes), call the Communicable Disease Intake Line at 613-966-5500 ext. 349 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511.
In order for Public Health to properly investigate the report of a suspected communicable disease, the school should be prepared to provide the following information:
- name, date of birth, address and phone number of person suspected of having a communicable disease;
- date of last day in attendance at the school;
- school bus number and bus route information (if applicable); and
- any other information Public Health deems necessary for the investigation.
- Caring for Kids - Canadian Paediatric Society
- Canadian Paediatric Society - Managing Infections
- Diseases of Public Health Significance & Reporting Form
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health offers a number of Infection Control resources that can be used in the classroom. These resources can be obtained by calling the Communicable Disease Intake Line at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511.
- Glow Germ Kit – A useful interactive resource that assists in educating about the importance of hand washing and the appropriate technique.
Why Don’t We Do It In Our Sleeves? – A five-minute video (DVD) on the importance of cough and sneeze etiquette.
This kit and DVD can be borrowed from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health by calling the Communicable Disease Intake Line at 613- 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 349. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511.
- How to Hand Wash Poster
- How to Hand Sanitize Poster
- Hand Hygiene Poster-Child
- Hand Hygiene Poster-Youth
- Hand Hygiene Poster-Adult
- Simple Steps to Germ Free Living Poster
- Tattoos, Piercings, Aesthetic Services
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Any blow to the head, face, neck or body that causes the head to move rapidly may cause a concussion. Children and adolescents are among those at greatest risk for concussin, especially during recess on the playground, physical education classes or sports at school. Research shows that a concussion can have a significant impact on a child's development - congnitively, physically, emotionally and socially.
To help ensure the safety and well-being of students and subsequently support effective learning, all publicly-funded school boards in Ontario are required to have a policy on concussion. The purpose of the policy is to support school staff, students and their families with information on how to minimize the risk of concussion, steps to follow if a concussion is suspected, and management procedures to guide students' return to learning and physical activity for a diagnosed concussion.
To learn more about concussions and school board policies within Hastings and Prince Edward counties, visit these websites:
Oral Health Elementary School Screening
Oral Health screening is a program mandated by the Ministry of Health. This screening consists of a quick visual oral assessment using a sterilized mouth mirror. Annually the Oral Health Team provides dental screening in local elementary schools. An Oral Health Report Card is sent home with the children to inform parents of any dental concerns. Please note this program does not replace the importance of regularly scheduled visits to a dentist.
In order to provide the best experience for students, Public Health staff require a dedicated space during oral health screening. Click here for the Required School Screening Practice Guidelines.
- Frequently Asked Questions and Information for School Staff - Access detailed information about school screenings, the re-screen process, consent, and where to direct parents for information.
Free Oral Health Clinics
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health offers free preventive dental services to eligible children 0 to 17 years of age. For more information, visit our general oral health page.
Healthy Smiles Ontario
The Healthy Smiles Ontario program is a government-funded dental program that provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services for children and youth 17 years old and under from low-income households. For more information, visit our general oral health page.
Teacher Resource Guides
- Grade 1
- Grade 2
- Grade 3
- Grade 4
- Grade 5
- Grade 6
- PowerPoint Presentation - Grades 1-3
- PowerPoint Presentation - Grades 4-6
- Ophea Teaching Tools - Access lesson plans, supplements, and activities to teach oral health information in compliance with the Ontario H&PE Curriculum.
- Your All-Access Pass to a Healthy Mouth Healthy You is a resource designed specifically for the teenaged population. It contains information about oral health as it relates to: smoking, drug use, braces, oral piercings, eating disorders, gingivitis, periodontal disease, mouth guards, and mouth care.
General Oral Health Support
For more information please call our Oral Health program at 613-966-5500 or toll-free at 1-800-267-2803, ext. 680. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511. By email at email@example.com.
Ophea Healthy Schools Certification
The Ophea Healthy Schools Certification is a six-step process for elementary and secondary schools that guides schools through the steps needed to effectively plan, implement and evaluate activities to improve the health and wellbeing of the entire school community. Schools identify a priority health topic area and can earn Bronze, Silver or Gold Certification based on implementing their plan. Registration for the 2017-2018 school year begins during the month of September!
24-Hour Movement Guidelines
In 2016, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology released the new 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth aged 5-17. These evidence-based guidelines are unique in that they demonstrate the interrelationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep within a 24-hour period. They also highlight the important contribution of light physical activity to overall, daily movement.
Physical Activity Statistics: Children and Youth
Unfortunately, the majority of Canadian children and youth are not meeting the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Although local-level data is limited, the following resources can provide insight into the physical activity behaviour of the school-aged population.
- 2016 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
- Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (CAMH) (Grade 7-12 students)
- Early Development Instrument (EDI)Data (Hastings and Prince Edward Child and Youth Network)
The Ministry of Education released the Daily Physical Activity in Elementary Schools Policy in 2005.
Supporting tools and resources:
- E-Learning Module
- Teacher Resource Guides: DPA in Schools
Health and Physical Education Curriculum Support
Research demonstrates that physical activity has positive effects on students’ academic readiness and performance. Incorporating physical activity within the school environment can be made easier with a little planning. The following resources provide many great ways to inspire your students to be more active:
- OPHEA Teaching Tools: Ready-to-use lesson plans, supplements and activities to support Health & Physical Education curriculum.
- Play Sport: Activity-based resource inspired from the Teaching Games for Understanding approach. Includes curriculum linkages to help students develop physical literacy, health literacy and skills for healthy active living.
- Physical & Health Education Canada: Supports the development of health-promoting schools through the provision of information and resources regarding: quality DPA; healthy school environments; quality school intramural recreation; and dance education.
- Passport for Life: Online tool to assess and support students’ physical literacy.
- Active for Life: Contains resources to help educators facilitate students’ development of physical literacy (elementary).
- Have a Ball Together : Provides information regarding physical activity and physical literacy, and includes over 100 great ideas to get kids aged 0-6 years moving (elementary).
- GoNoodle Fun videos to activate kids’ bodies and minds-a great idea for transitions between topics or classes (elementary).
Healthy School Environment
- Ophea Healthy School Certification: Schools can earn Bronze, Silver or Gold Healthy Schools Certification by following a six-step process that is consistent with Foundations for a Healthy School.
- Walk Across Canada Guidebook: Promotes a fun and rewarding way to incorporate walking in the school environment.
- School Pedometer Toolkit: Kits of 30 pedometers can be borrowed by teachers for a maximum of 6 weeks. For more information, contact our Healthy Life Line at 613-966-5500 ext. 610.
- Physical Activity Leaders in Schools (P.A.L.S.): School-led physical activity program to promote intermediate student engagement and leadership.
- Ontario Ministry of Education’s Raise the Bar: Provides training and online resources to support inclusive intramural sports in Ontario schools
- CIRA Ontario: Tools, information and practical ideas to promote, encourage and develop healthy active living and personal development for all through recreational and educational programs.
Research demonstrates the importance of physical activity for child health and development. Providing children with opportunities to develop physical literacy are crucial to establishing motivation, confidence and skills that will support physical activity behaviours throughout their lives.
Find all the tools you need below to host your own physical literacy parent night at your elementary school:
Healthy Kids Community Challenge: A community based program reaching into early years and school settings that aims to promote the health and well-being of children in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties through physical activity, healthy eating, and other healthy habits.
The teen years are a time of major transition, when young people develop many of the habits, patterns of behaviour, and relationships they will carry into their adult life. These habits, behaviours, and relationships impact health in the adolescent years, but also have an impact on potential risks for diseases later in adulthood, as well as the health of future children. Providing education about preconception** and reproductive health topics during the teen years can create opportunities for students to develop healthy behaviours and maintain good reproductive health, both now and in the future.
The resources below are available for all educators to teach about preconception and reproductive health topics. If you have any questions about the resources found on this page, please contact the HPEPH Reproductive Health program at 613-966-5500, extension 223 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Life My Plan is a resource that guides students through six (6) topic areas that impact health and wellness (physical health, mental health, reproductive/sexual health, relationships, family health history, and their future). Each topic area provides basic information and facts, as well as the opportunity to respond to a series of questions that will help students make healthy decisions, set personal goals, and establish a plan for their future.
A teacher resource with lesson plans has been developed to support educators in using the My Life My Plan resource in Grade 9 Health and Physical Education classes. The resource and supporting activities will also facilitate completion of the Goal Setting and My Portfolio & Reflections requirements within the Individual Pathways Plan (IPP) expectations for grade 9 as part of the Creating Pathways to Success program.
Lesson plans and activities
Fillable - Download to Adobe and use the fill and sign feature
Teacher Resource by Section
- Lesson 1: What is Health
- Lesson 2: My Life - My Health
- Lesson 3: My Life - My Mental Health
- Lesson 4: My Life - My Relationships
- Lesson 5: My Life - My Reproductive Health
** Preconception health refers to the health of all individuals during their reproductive years, regardless of gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. It is an approach that promotes healthy fertility and focuses on actions that individuals can take to reduce their risks, promote a healthy lifestyle, and increase readiness for pregnancy, whether or not they plan to have children one day. A comprehensive approach includes taking action at an individual, community and population level to promote preconception health. (Ontario Public Health Association. (2014) Shift-Enhancing the Health of Ontarians: A Call to Action for Preconception Health Promotion and Care. Toronto, ON)
Every child has a right to comprehensive sexual health education and access to sexual health medical care. Sexual health knowledge is an important factor in the health and well-being of Canadian youth (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2008). HPEPH partners with school communities and educators to ensure that sexual health education is accessible and meaningful to all children.
The 2019 Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum has just been released. Hastings Prince Edward Public Health is exploring supports available and/or required to assist in the implementation of the latest curriculum. More resources will be shared as they are identified, and below are helpful links to assist educators seeking healthy growth and development and sexual health curriculum support:
Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education
The Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education provide guidance to educators and policy makers for the development and evaluation of comprehensive, evidence-based sexual health education in Canada. This resource provides strategies for addressing some modern and timely issues.
Teaching Sexual Health can assist you in the classroom. Explore the site to find lesson plans, teaching tools, resources and more. This Alberta resource provides lesson plans for grades 4-9 and includes a differing abilities section. Instructional videos and interactive tools are provided.
Sexual Health Clinical Support
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health offers sexual health clinical support by drop-in and appointment at a variety of locations. Services include sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, birth control prescriptions, pregnancy testing and options counselling, and more.
Any student, 12 years of age and older, may attend the Sexual Health Clinics held at one of the Public Health sites.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health offers sexual health clinical services at the following HPEDSB secondary schools:
- Bayside Secondary School (Wednesday mornings)
- Centre Hastings Secondary School (Wednesday mornings - Biweekly)
- Eastside Secondary School (Thursday mornings)
- Prince Edward Collegiate Institute (Wednesday mornings - Biweekly)
HPEPH, Sexual Health Clinic Tours
Arrange a clinic tour for your class or agency group by contacting 613-966-5500 ext. 243.
If you have questions about sexual health contact 613-966-5500 ext. 243
Smoke-Free Ontario Act - Requirements of Schools
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) requires schools and school boards to ensure that school properties are 100% smoke-free. Tobacco enforcement officers inspect schools to check compliance with the law. Public Health can support schools with:
- laying of charges based on witness information provided by school staff
- enforcement presentations
- information for websites and newsletters
- Dr. Crazy Videos - a three episode YouTube mini-series depicting the dangerous substances used in tobacco products, the harmful effects of tobacco products, and the companies who market them.
- Lungs Are For Life - Ontario Lung Association teacher resource for grades K-12.
- Ophea Teaching Tools - Access lesson plans, supplements, and activities to teach healthy, active living in compliance with the Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum.
- The Academy for Tobacco Prevention - This is a school-based resource targeted for grade 4,5 and 6 classrooms in Alberta to educate and engage students about the harms of tobacco use and the health benefits of never using tobacco products. Please review prior to use to ensure resource connects with Ontario Health & Physical Education curriculum.
Student Tobacco Cessation Support
Quit4Life - A resource to help students quit smoking or using other tobacco products.
- FTI "Freeze the Industry"
- LML "Love My Life...Tobacco Free"
- Play, Live, Be Tobacco-Free
- YATI (Youth Advocacy Training Institute) Fact Sheets
General Tobacco Support
Call the Tobacco Talk Line at 613-966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803 ext. 600. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511 Monday to Friday (8:30 am to 4:30 pm).
Sun Safety & UV
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Canada and is highly preventable. Childhood exposure to UV Radiation (UVR) is an important contributor to the development of skin cancer in later life.
Schools play a major role in minimizing student exposure to UVR (highest risk is between 11 am and 3 pm) and in both establishing and maintaining sun safety habits for a lifetime.
An effective sun safety school culture provides the opportunity for staff and students to enjoy the many benefits of outdoor play and physical activity while offering protection from UVR. This is done by establishing effective routines, enhancing shade on school grounds and developing and implementing a sun safety policy.
Develop a Sun Protection Policy
Sun Safety Policy Guidelines for schools is a best-practice guide to developing a sun safe school culture. It offers a step-by-step policy process and examples of exciting sun safety school and community programs.
Create a Sun Safe School Environment
SunSense Program (grades 1-6)
The SunSense program supports elementary school communities in creating a sun safety environment through education, policy development and awareness of sun safe practices. The program includes a policy development guide, as well as supporting tools and resources, such as curriculum resources, communication tools and FREE materials for download or order (UV bead bracelets and luggage tags). The program is a joint project of Canadian Cancer Society, Ophea and Evergreen.
Other Sources of UV Radiation
Tanning beds are another significant source of UVR. Young people are at particular risk: using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases the risk of developing melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) by 59 percent. In Ontario it is illegal for persons less than 18 years of age to use a tanning bed. More information can be found on this website, on the Cancer Prevention page found under the “Healthy Living” tab.
Vision screening is a mandated program by the Ministry of Health. School-based vision screening allows for all children in Senior Kindergarten (SK) to be checked for signs of eye problems so they can be treated in a timely manner. Children who already have glasses will be screened while they are wearing their glasses. This screening consists of three short and simple tests to find out if a child might have eye problems. A letter summarizing the results of the vision screening is sent home with the children to inform parents or guardians of any vision related concerns. Please note that this program does not replace the importance of regularly scheduled visits to an Optometrist.
In order to provide the best experience for students, Public Health staff require dedicated space during vision screening. To prepare, please review the Required School Screening Practice Guidelines. For detailed information about school screenings, consent, and where to direct parents for information, please review our Frequently Asked Questions and Information for School Staff document.
Other Important Information
An eye exam with an Optometrist is free of charge, once every 12 months, up to the age of 19, with a valid OHIP card
Some programs are available to offer assistance with the cost of prescription eyeglasses. For example, the Loblaw’s Kids See Free program at Loblaw Optical locations offers a free pair of eyeglasses to children from 4 to 10 years of age if they have a recent prescription (within the last 90 days).