Bluewater District School Board

Bluewater's Two BWDSB Schools Receive Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification page

Two BWDSB Schools Receive Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification

Two BWDSB Schools Receive Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification
Posted on 06/19/2018
Two Bluewater District School Board schools in Hanover are being recognized provincially for their outstanding efforts over the past year in supporting healthy initiatives!

John Diefenbaker Senior School and Dawnview Public School are the proud recipients of Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification, which recognizes schools that take action to address health topics, such as physical activity, mental health, and healthy eating.  

Schools across Ontario that participate in Ophea’s (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association’s) program must complete the 6-Step Healthy Schools Process, which aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School resource and the Well-Being Strategy for Education.

John Diefenbaker Senior School has achieved the distinct honour of Ophea’s prestigious GOLD standard. Early in the school year, a healthy school committee of students, administration, and teaching staff was formed with the goal of implementing a series of initiatives to earn GOLD status. The group helped to organize a number of special events to promote healthy living and well-being for the school’s students and staff. Highlights include the recent three-kilometre “Mood Walk” to improve mental health while being physically active, implementation of the St. John Ambulance therapy dog program to help relieve stress among students, and staff participation in healthy living activities, such as yoga, fitness classes, volleyball games, and more. Students also participated in a variety of wellness activities, including an elective day, mental health assemblies, special outings for both boys and girls groups, and field trips with a fitness focus, to name a few. The committee also organized “Fresh Fruit Fridays”, where trays of fruit were delivered to home room classes. The school’s Breakfast Club worked hard to introduce new healthy food options to the students and staff with a weekly “focus” fruit or vegetable prepared in a variety of ways. The school’s foods department and educational support professionals worked together to make a variety of soups and grab bags using fresh produce for students and staff to enjoy.

Dawnview Public School’s participation in Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification resulted in an impressive SILVER level of certification. Students and staff on the Healthy Schools Team chose Physical Activity as their area of focus, which entailed a series of steps to plan and implement events that would improve the fitness of the school community. A few initiatives that took place included guided exercises to music in the gym during indoor recess days, as well as a recess club. The latter involved selecting a class to participate in a fun game in the gym planned by members of the Healthy Schools Team, who also acted as referees. There were also many other activities coordinated throughout the year for students to get involved in. The school community was fortunate to solicit the input and shared expertise of several community partners throughout this process, including Kristi McCracken of the public health unit, kinesiologist Steph Hill, and physiotherapist Heather Mighton. The students developed their leadership skills and enjoyed participating in the events. Dawnview looks forward to participating again next year!

Congratulations are extended to both John Diefenbaker Senior School and Dawnview Public School on their exceptional work to foster healthy, safe and caring learning environments. All those who participated in the 6-Step Healthy Schools Process to achieve Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification are thanked and commended for their time and dedication. It is no small feat to achieve these designations, which serve to recognize the tremendous efforts in promoting well-being in our school communities.
Bluewater District School Board is located on the traditional land of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which is represented by the communities of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
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