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Healthy Schools - Healthy Communities

Research shows that a healthy school environment supports student success. Students, teachers and the larger community benefit when children learn in a healthy school. The Ottawa Catholic School Board works to promote multiple facets of health in our schools - nutrition, physical activity, and wellness. We also support the Ministry of Education's Healthy Schools Recognition Program.

The Ministry of Education's Healthy Schools Recognition Program promotes and celebrates healthy behaviours and practices in Ontario's elementary and secondary schools. Schools pledge to take on a healthy activity in their school – and receive recognition for it. Schools can start a new activity or build on an existing one. Activities can be related to any of the following initiatives, with the goal to promote a healthy learning environment:


ocsb ottawa public health logoOttawa Public Health - School Health Program

All public health units across Ontario are mandated through the Ministry of Health to work with school boards and school staff using a comprehensive health promotion approach to influence the development and implementation of healthy policies, and the enhancement of supportive environments conducive to healthy living.  Ottawa Public Health provides support to all four school boards through its School Health Program. Public health nurses in this program are assigned to all elementary, middle and secondary schools to help support healthy and active living within the school community.  The public health nurses provide training, resources and support to school staff and offer information and resources to parents through workshops, parent-teacher evenings and school events.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) provides comprehensive survey results on a wide variety of topics affecting children in our school communities. Summary sheets can be accessed that provide information on Ottawa youth related to healthy eating, active living and body image, mental health, school climate and bullying, and tobacco use. The findings are accompanied by factual information and numerous resources.

  Visit  www.ottawa.ca/healthreports  


Playground Activity Leaders in Schools (PALS)
is a leadership program that encourages all children to be active at recess. The aim of the program is to increase physical activity, decrease conflict and reduce playground bullying, and provide a leadership opportunity for students. Students in grades four to six with leadership qualities are trained by a Public Health Nurse to be Playground Activity Leaders in their schools. The leaders plan and lead fun and safe activities, and mediate conflicts, during recess for younger students in their school. Click here for more information >>

Ontario Ministry of Education

Good food, daily physical activity and a healthy environment that supports learning and growth are vital to helping students reach their full potential. The Ontario government is working in partnership with students, teachers, principals, parents and others to help Ontario's students do their best in school. Use the following links to inform yourself and your family about how to help promote healthy Ottawa Catholic Schools.

View Ministry's Healthy Schools initiative >>

View a list of the schools in our Board that have accepted the Healthy Schools Recognition Program and see what healthy activities are taking place in these schools. Click here >>

Additional OPH Resources

Ottawa Public Health's School Health Program sends useful information on various topics (such as helmets, immunization, etc.) to our schools on a monthly basis for their school newsletters. Some of the tips will be listed here on this webpage.

Food and Beverage Policy

All food and beverages sold in our schools must meet the nutrition standards set out in the Ontario Ministry of Education's School Food and Beverage Policy.

  Read more >>  

Freggie Fridays

This program is currently running in over half of our schools, encouraging children to choose fruits and vegetables as part of their snacks on Fridays.

  Read more >>  

Physical Activity

This section is currently under construction as we gather information from our schools. If you have information you would like to share, please e-mail Webmaster@ocsb.ca. Please check back later. 

Breakfast Programs & More!

These programs welcome students that may have challenges starting the day with breakfast at home and encourage them to have a healthy breakfast at their school.

  Read more >>  

Wellness - Mental Health

A healthy school environment is one that promotes good mental health and emotional well-being in addition to healthy food and physical activities. The mental health of our students is a large and focused priority for the Ottawa Catholic School Board. We teach the importance of mental health awareness in our classrooms, and have implemented numerous programs to offer specialized instruction on a variety of mental health topics. Our entire school community is aware of the importance of this issue and the impact it has on our students, and our Board staff is trained to deal with these issues as best as possible. We focus on awareness, prevention and early intervention.

  See our Mental Health Resources >>