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A Toolkit for Creating Well-Being in School

Clarksdale Public School makes well-being look effortless by using the Foundations for a Healthy School Framework

Imagine, Believe, Achieve - Imaginer, Croire, Atteindre!  Clarksdale Public School takes their school motto to heart in all that they do, including working towards Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification last year.  They achieved gold level status in 2016-2017 for their work on positive mental health promotion with a focus on sense of belonging and anxiety.  Healthy school work was incorporated into their School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA) goal for Equity and Well-Being while the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School Framework was used to create a comprehensive plan.  With the support of a Public Health Nurse, Clarksdale achieved well-being by incorporating the following ideas into their mental health and well-being plan:

Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

  • Teaching the MIND UP curriculum to staff at staff meetings and Professional Development days served as a starting point to teaching students about mindfulness.
  • A book study for staff of Dr. Stuart Shanker’s book ‘Self-Reg’ was offered to better understand the science behind self-regulation.

School and Classroom Leadership

  • Calming bins were created for all classrooms to reduce anxiety and increase self-regulation, thanks to the kind financial support of the Halton Learning Foundation.    

Student Engagement

  • In addition to the many student clubs offered over the break times, Clarksdale initiated school-wide ‘wolf pack’ events to support many school- wide activities (Pink Shirt Day, Jump Rope for Heart and Carnaval). 
  • The Clarksdale’s Health Action Team (C.H.A.T.) learned about well-being by exploring the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Well-Being Strategy and then promoting well-being initiatives in the school.  Clarksdale’s Amazing Race to Well-Being was a fun whole school event to celebrate the end of the school year!

Social and Physical Environments

  • Clarksdale staff made great use of outdoor education.  The outdoor learning garden, the brightly painted black top and a neighbouring woodlot made for creative learning environments.
  • Flexible seating and ‘quiet time’ tents were also introduced to some classes as a way to enhance the indoor environment.

Home, School and Community Partnerships

  • A fun night was had by all with Clarksdale’s Family Fit Night last May. This was a great way for students and their families to enjoy physical activity with a Drum Fit night, followed by student-led mindfulness, then finally healthy hydration messaging with the Public Health Nurse and Healthy Kids Community Challenge – Water Does Wonders!
  • Clarksdale benefits from the strong community partnerships it has with the many parent volunteers and community agencies:
    • Art House
    • Halton Food For Thought
    • Halton Learning Foundation
    • Halton Region Public Health

Clarksdale continues to improve its school well-being by focusing on healthy school initiatives. This year, the priority health topic is mental health with a focus on improving students’ sense of belonging and safety at school. Let’s cheer Clarksdale staff, students and parents on as they go for gold again!

Foundations for a Healthy School Areas Addressed All 5 foundations for a Healthy School: Curriculum, Teaching & Learing, School & Classroom Leadership, Student Engagement, Social & Physical Environments, and Home, School & Community Partnerships.
Curriculum, Teaching & Learing School & Classroom Leadership Student Engagement  
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