Guidelines for use Think of the following as a menu of options for your school to consider. The activities and practices described here may need to be tailored to your school environment. PROMOTING A POSITIVE SCHOOL CLIMATE: A Resource for Schools: Adapted by Middlesex-London Health Unit Elements School-Level Activities/Practices Classroom-Level Student-Level Public Health Unit Supports Contributing to Activities/Practices Activities/Practices a Positive School Climate Student Voice Encourage students to apply for a Ministry of Education Post a list of appropriate volunteer Provide team-building training for Facilitate and support Healthy School Committees - “SpeakUp” project grant. Have students create an action opportunities available in the school, in students interested in supporting support students to identify issues and create action Schools give team to report to educators on the outcome of their the community, or internationally. Include their peers, either collectively, as a plans students the project. opportunities available both during the school-wide peer support group, or Work with students to help them advocate for their own opportunity to www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/students/speakup/projects.html school year and in the summer. individually, as peer helpers or health and social issues provide input on Invite former students who were able to overcome past Set up peer-mentoring programs, such tutors. Support various clubs and committees such as social matters related to challenges in their lives to share their personal stories at a as “buddy” programs. For example, an Train student leaders to lead other justice, cultural diversity, and school councils their learning and school assembly. older student could provide reading students in physical activities Organize/host peer led sessions such as Teen Panel school Engage students as partners in conversations about their assistance to a younger student; a during breaks, both to keep them Support students to survey their school population environment. own learning and about the school’s learning environment. senior student could help with a Grade 9 engaged and to promote positive about health and social issues Students are given student’s transition to secondary school; various Solicit their ideas about school improvement planning. relationships and team building. Provide student leadership opportunities Showcase students’ unique strengths, talents, and a current student could help a newcomer Provide opportunities for all Work with students to organize and implement healthy opportunities to become familiar with the school. interests through student-led assemblies, talent shows, or students to develop their schools workshops lead &/or contribute musical events. Encourage students to participate in leadership potential – for example, Train peer leaders for peer-led physical activity recess to school activities. Support student councils in conducting surveys of creating their own learning by rotating classroom duties or by program (P.L.A.Y.), peer-led hand-washing education Student students to find out what issues are important to them. environments. For example, engage creating SpeakUp Councils. Work with students to help them plan assemblies perspectives are Use strategies developed by students to address the students as partners in researching Encourage students with a range addressing issues related to physical, social, and/or taken into account current learning theories or educational identified issues. of perspectives to volunteer to be mental health in the decision- making process, Support a variety of student-led clubs and teams, such as approaches and have them share their teacher helpers or to apply to Support efforts to set up mentoring programs intramural sports teams, student theatre and music findings with teachers. become members of the Minister’s and students are groups, and Student Equity Committees. Student Advisory Council (MSAC). encouraged to be www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/students/s involved at all peakup/msac.html levels. Parent Encourage the School Council to apply for a Parents Communicate with parents by various Establish convenient channels of Provide information for parents on various health related Engagement Reaching Out (PRO) grant, designed to help parents means, including telephone and email, to communication to make parents topics – electronic/paper newsletters, information become more involved at their child’s school. keep them informed about student feel comfortable with contacting sessions, consultation, school ‘Health Wall’ bulletin Schools provide www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/reaching.html learning. For example, contact the teachers or other staff members if boards parents with Hold information sessions for parents in venues in the parents of a student who was facing their child is struggling or dealing Provide parenting information through various mediums opportunities to community, such as the public library, a meeting room in challenges in learning to report that the with other problems at school. such as classes, websites, tip sheets, consultations learn about, an apartment building, the local community centre, a place student is making improvements. Create a parent-information centre Provide parenting sessions for newcomers support, and Provide parents with tip sheets and of worship, an Aboriginal friendship centre, or a Parenting or bulletin board in the school Partner with parent forums actively engage in and Family Literacy Centre, to reach as many parents as suggestions on how they can support featuring materials about student Create a health resource centre for parents at school their children’s their child’s learning. experience at possible. Consider using translators and approaching well-being and information about Contribute to parent nights and meet the teacher nights leaders from diverse communities to help deliver school Invite parents to volunteer in the community resources that are Collaborate with Settlement Workers in Schools to school. messages. available to assist students and classroom as reading mentors, math provide programs and supports for parents who are Invite parents to participate in school celebrations and coaches, or storytellers. their families. refugees and/or new immigrants events, such as sports days, field trips, musical events, Create a “parent-buddy” program to help Create a parent centre in the Involve parents on Healthy School Committees and school assemblies. parents of newcomers to the school school library where parents Provide materials in various languages, and interpretive Support new students and families as they become part of navigate the school system. access material on issues that may services (as needed) when offering the school community by providing an orientation Find ways to show appreciation of all affect their children, such as programming/sessions for parents package, including information about community parents’ efforts to support their children’s healthy relationships, mental resources, in multiple languages. learning. health and well-being, peer Provide parents with a choice of ways in which they can Hold teacher-parent-student discussions pressure, and healthy eating. Try participate – for example, by taking part in a parent-in- to go over students’ learning goals and to provide materials in multiple class day, helping with the production of sets for the their progress towards achieving the languages. school play, or helping to organize a school picnic. goals. Work towards including representation of diverse parent groups on all school committees, including School Councils. Community Enlist community members or groups to participate in Promote opportunities for students Engage positive role models from Host community fairs (e.g., ‘Going Bananas’) Partnerships school activities such as breakfast or snack programs. taking art courses to decorate the store the community to form a support Assist students’ with identifying volunteer opportunities Host a school “open house” for community members at windows of local retail businesses. group for girls that can help them Raise awareness about outside community student Schools engage which students can present and talk about their work. Create opportunities in the classroom for with issues related to self-esteem, groups that students can join community groups Encourage the school to participate in community students to “give back” to the local or body image, healthy relationships, Act as positive role model to students and staff to work with the international community – for example, activities such as charity events. and other areas of concern. Provide referrals to outside agencies school in a Engage positive role models from Provide seniors with a special pass that provides free by donating items built in a woodworking Network with community groups to provide increased mutually beneficial class to a developing country or by the community to form a support admission to school events such as concerts and plays. support to and involvement with schools way to support Implement strategies designed to engage diverse planning a food or book drive. group for boys that can help them Support development of snack and breakfast programs students and/or Arrange for the local public health unit to with issues related to self-esteem, parents. community partners. Provide training to set up cooking clubs visit classrooms throughout the school at-risk behaviours, life skills, and Coordinate small group sessions with community year to discuss topics such as healthy other areas of concern. partners eating and physical activity. Arrange for students to participate Facilitate, co-facilitate, or provide resources to support Invite local police officers to the school to in community or regional small group sessions (e.g., self-esteem, healthy discuss bullying or safe Internet use. leadership-development relationships, etc.) opportunities (e.g., a Model United Offer ‘Health Fair’ events in schools in collaboration with Nations), life skills training, or community partners sports camp. Learning Provide relevant opportunities for students and staff to Promote a culture of high expectations Establish classroom routines, such Develop resources to assist with lesson planning Environment learn about diverse histories, cultures, and perspectives – for all students. as daily check-in, to benefit Provide professional development workshops for for example, about Aboriginal traditions and treaty Differentiate instruction and assessment students who require support. teachers Schools provide histories and about women’s contributions to science and to meet the individual learning needs of Provide opportunities for Teach social skills through small group work students with a technology. all students. secondary school students to Host school wide events focusing on different themes wide range of Ensure that curriculum materials, displays, and print and Recognize and discuss qualities such as explore career options – for Participate in career fairs to promote health professional opportunities and electronic resources reflect the diversity and the individual example, by inviting speakers or respect, social responsibility, empathy, roles ways to learn and having students visit workplaces – to practise and needs and interests of the student population. Students honesty, and fairness where relevant in Act as a caring adult in the school environment should always be able to recognize themselves in their all areas of the curriculum, and draw early in the school year. Host lunch and learn sessions demonstrate their learning materials and resources. attention to their significance in creating learning. Students Provide health information to students through face to Ask students to think of ways to creatively incorporate the safe and healthy schools. face meetings, health fairs, health walls, and other learn about the school’s Monthly Character Traits (e.g., May – integrity; Teach positive social skills through methods diversity of their June – resilience) into their learning environment – for modelling and role play. Practise positive Support classroom teaching by occasionally acting as a world and come to example, have them design a screensaver for use on the behaviour, and give positive feedback guest speaker on a variety of health-related topics understand the school’s computers promoting that month’s trait. when a student behaves well. importance of Reinforce, acknowledge, and celebrate positive student Rotate classroom duties among all learning. behaviour – for example, by presenting certificates at a students throughout the year. Allow school assembly or by including “good news” stories in the students to suggest leadership roles they school newsletter. would like to take on. Take advantage of “teachable moments” to address immediate relationship issues that may arise among students. Develop classroom rules collaboratively with students at the beginning of the school year. Social-Emotional Put in place a whole-school bullying prevention program. Promote belonging and connectedness Support students who are involved Provide workshops or discussion groups for males and Environment Teach all students to oppose bullying and discrimination in the classroom through “getting to in unhealthy relationships or who females focusing on self esteem, stress, healthy by helping them develop the confidence to make their own know you” activities (teacher-to-student have been victims of bullying by relationships, mental wellness & other health issues Schools promote decisions and the courage to stand up for what they and peer-to-peer). providing information about Collaboratively implement whole school initiatives fairness, equity, believe is right. Empower students to take responsibility Promote positive relationship building agencies that can help them. focusing on various topics such as ‘being real’, mental respect for all, and for their actions, including their choices as bystanders. through peer mediation, conflict Provide students with tools to help wellness, healthy living, substance use and abuse, a sense of Participate in campaigns such as Pink Shirt Day and resolution, and restorative practices. them gain insight into building self- respect for self and others belonging and Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week (third week of Teach skills such as meditation, yoga, esteem and healthy body image – Link students to outside supports that provide positive connectedness. November) to show that bullying will not be tolerated in the for example, provide self-esteem relationships building, bonding and t'ai chi to help students reduce They create a safe school. stress. Encourage students to notice surveys or worksheets as well as Collaborate with school social workers to provide one to and caring Support student-led presentations, including concerts and when they are experiencing learning as opportunities for discussion. one advice to students for staying mentally healthy environment for all. Develop supportive relationships plays, that address bullying, homophobia, and racism and fun. Recognize students for their efforts that promote inclusiveness. Encourage students to demonstrate with students, spending time with Provide ideas and resources and/or implement social Host assemblies to recognize positive student behaviour behaviour that promotes emotional well- them individually when possible. marketing campaigns in schools to promote wellness, and celebrate student successes. being among their classmates. Ask them Establish behavioural contracts healthy living and a positive school environment Build an understanding of mental illness and help reduce to notice any improvement in their own that have built-in rewards for Engage students to feel a sense of belonging the stigma attached to it by posting information and sense of well-being as a result. students with behavioural issues. Work with student groups to plan and carry out posters about emotional and social well-being throughout assemblies addressing issues related to physical, social, the school. and/or mental health Physical Organize school-led community clean-up and Set up and organize the classroom in a Have a group of students act as Assist with the application of a healthy schools award Environment beautification days. way that promotes collaborative learning, environmental ambassadors at the Assist environmental clubs with activities Support the school’s eco-club to create a student engagement in learning, and school, promoting the school’s Promote zero-waste lunches The school school/community garden with flowers, vegetables, and principles of inclusive education. recycling and composting Provide information about green opportunities in environment, inside Display the work of all students in the programs and educating other native plants. schools, and support students to ‘green’ the schoolyard and outside the Hang a welcome banner produced by students at the front classroom. students about ways they can Link students and staff to environmental services at building, is make the school “greener”. entrance of the school. Ensure that classroom displays reflect public health departments (air and water quality) welcoming and Provide tip sheets to students Hold a zero-waste lunch challenge in the school. the diversity of the student population Link students to environmental activities that they could makes the school a Regularly communicate and practise lockdown and and the population of the province. about ways of making the school participate in outside of school safe place that is more welcoming and more conducive to evacuation procedures, as well as fire drill procedures. Students should always be able to Work with student groups to identify their concerns learning. Provide tip sheets to all staff members suggesting ways to recognize themselves in their learning conducive to learning. regarding their physical environment and create plans make the school more welcoming and more conducive to environment. Provide information and develop skills to prevent spread learning. of communicable diseases in schools Facilitate development of School Travel Plans in collaboration with community partners, students, parents and school administration ∗In this document, parents is used to refer to parent(s) and guardian(s).
Pages to are hidden for
"PROMOTING AP OSITIVE SCHOOL CLIMATE"Please download to view full document