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716: Comprehensive School Health

Responsible Administrator: Deputy Superintendent Education Services



Comprehensive School Health is an integrated approach that provides students and staff with opportunities to observe and learn positive health attitudes and behaviours.  It includes a broad spectrum of programs, activities, partnerships and services that take place in schools and communities in order to enhance health and build productive and satisfying relationships across their community.

Health and education are interdependent:  healthy students are better learners, and better educated individuals are healthier.  Research has shown that comprehensive school health is an effective way to enhance that linkage, improving both health and educational outcomes and encouraging healthy behaviours that last a lifetime.  In the classroom, comprehensive school health facilitates improved academic achievement and can lead to fewer behavioural problems.  In the broader school environment, it helps students develop the skills they need to be physically and emotionally healthy for life.


The Deputy Superintendent Education Services shall be responsible for maintaining this Administrative Procedure.


1. The school staff shall address the four distinct but interrelated components of Comprehensive School Health.

1.1 Social and Physical Environment includes the quality of the relationships between the school community, the emotional well-being of students and the buildings, grounds, play spaces and equipment in and around the school.

1.2 Teaching and Learning includes resources, activities and curriculum where students gain skills and knowledge related to health and wellness.  

1.3 Healthy School Policy includes practices, decision-making processes, policies and procedures that promote and support health and wellness.

1.4 Partnerships and Services includes connections between schools, families, community organizations, health services and other sectors that support student health.

2. Physical Wellbeing:  the ability, motivation and confidence to make choices that result in healthy growth, development, and care of the body.

2.1 Active living:  developing knowledge, skills and attitudes that correspond with leading a healthy, active lifestyle.

2.2 Healthy eating:  promoting healthy food choices and healthy attitudes about food.

3. Mental Health:  the capacity of each of us to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face (Public Health Agency of Canada).

4. Positive Social Environments:  building a predictable and safe environment, relating positively and respectfully to others, and supporting a strong sense of belonging and connection.

5. Division schools and work environments work towards creating and maintaining environments that support a division culture of health and wellness by:

5.1 recognizing the importance of students' and staff wellness;

5.2 establishing environments that support and integrate active living, healthy eating, and positive social environments;

5.3 acknowledging that active living, healthy eating, and mental health play significant roles in students' and staff overall health and wellness; and

5.4 promoting healthy attitudes toward active living, healthy eating, mental health, and positive social environments.

6. Division schools and work environments work towards supporting active living by:

6.1 encouraging successful and meaningful engagement in physical activity and encourage lifelong fitness; and

6.2 encouraging students to engage in physical activity inside and outside of regular curriculum (e.g. community events, clubs, special events, teams, intramurals, etc.) to support their development as healthy, active learners.

7. Division school and work environments work towards supporting healthy eating by:

7.1 fostering knowledge, skills, and attitudes that promote healthy eating, promoting nutrition education, and create an environment of positive food messages;

7.2 establishing a strong connection between nutrition education and foods available at the school/workplace; and

7.3 creating an environment where healthy foods are available, accessible, and promoted as the best choice.

8. Division schools works towards supporting mental health by:

8.1 implementing school wide approaches that increase understanding of mental health and mental illness;

8.2 supporting strength based approaches that build resilience;

8.3 supporting social emotional learning and regulation;

8.4 offering a continuum of supports including universal, targeted, and specialized supports and services; and

8.5 partnering with community and health service providers to promote access to service.

9. Division schools work towards supporting positive social environments by:

9.1 fostering relationships between students, staff, the school division, and community;

9.2 supporting and embedding character education programs to support emotional well-being, creating learning environments where emotional well-being is role modelled and developed in students;

9.3 accessing resources and links with community agencies, partners, and support networks to help students develop the skills to be aware of and monitor their emotional well-being;

9.4 recognizing the importance of students' emotional, social, intellectual, and physical wellness to their success in school and expect students to adhere to the Division's Code of Conduct and schools' code of conduct;

9.5 promoting digital citizenship education including a proactive approach regarding the physical and psychological health risks of technology; and

9.6 encouraging reporting to a responsible adult all incidents of threats, bullying, harassment, violence, intimidation, or discrimination.



Policy 110:  Welcoming Inclusive, Safe and Healthy Environments
Policy 900:  Student Conduct and Discipline
Administrative Procedure 711:  Welcoming Inclusive, Safe and Healthy Environments
Comprehensive School Health Approach - Alberta Health Services
Working Together to Support Mental Health in Alberta Schools - Alberta Education
Public Health Agency of Canada
Education Act: Section 33.1
Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH)


2020 Jan 29 Initial Approval
2020 Jul 24 Amended
2024 Jun 19 Amended