School Health For Educators

The teaching resources below are to support teachers in creating lesson plans to cover health-related content in the classroom. The resources are guidelines are suggestions for educators to use for both elementary and secondary schools.

School Health resources for parents and guardians, such as kindergarten orientation, immunization and dental screening information, cab be found on our School Health for Parents and Guardians page.

  • A Healthy School strives to build an environment that supports lifelong health and wellbeing of the school community. Student and staff wellbeing is an important precondition for learning! A Healthy School approach can foster student and staff success in your school. Healthy Schools is an internationally recognized and evidence informed approach to enhance the health and wellbeing of school communities.

Brant County Health Unit Public Health Nurses (PHN) work with schools in Brantford-Brant to support the health and well-being of children and youth.

All schools receive access to school-aged population health information and resources. Some schools receive focused services, meaning regular PHN support. These schools were identified population health assessment from our community.

Below is the support provided to all school within Brantford-Brant:

Elementary School Support

Secondary School Support

  • Online classroom supports with lesson plans, presentations and resources.
  • Linking students and families to resources in the school and community.
  • Liaison with services provided by the Brant County Health Unit (BCHU):
    • Elementary: dental screening, vision screening, Grade 7/8 immunizations and immunization suspension process
    • Secondary: immunization catch-up clinic, food inspection, Sexual Health Nurse services
  • Providing one-to-one support to any students in high school involved in Progressive Enforcement of the Smoke Free Ontario Act.
  • Providing support for infectious diseases in schools (including COVID-19)
  • Providing online resources that increase parent awareness of BCHU programs and community services that support child and youth health. These resources can be printed by schools for their parent events:
    • Welcome to Kindergarten
    • Meet the Teacher
    • Parent Open House
    • School Council Meetings

Below is the support for Focused Schools:

  • Providing funding towards Healthy School Initiatives if the school commits to collaborating with a PHN on a Healthy Schools Approach
  • Collaborating with schools to assess and prioritize health issues
  • Recommending best-practices for action, i.e., policy, programs
  • Co-creating action plans to address health issues with staff, students, and community
  • Assisting with the development, implementation, and evaluation of healthy school initiatives.
  • Consulting with Principals and Teachers on guidelines and policies such as:
    • Safe and Accepting Schools
    • Equity and Inclusion
    • Food and Beverage
    • Daily Physical Activity
  • Increasing parent and family engagement with BCHU programs and services by providing support for:
    • Welcome to Kindergarten
    • Meet the Teacher
    • Parent Open House
    • School Council Meetings
  • Secondary schools can apply for a grant up to a $1000.00 to address a health topic within your school. This grant is a competitive process with limited grants available.  Only one grant will be awarded per school for the 2023/2024 school year.

  • The group working on the health topic must have representation from students and staff. It is also encouraged to have representation from parents/guardians and/or community partners.

  • Preference will be given to projects that demonstrate sustainability (the project/the benefits of the project are able to continue beyond the planned project time frame and benefit future students/staff/school community members)

  • Reporting requirements: Successful applicants will be expected to complete a reporting form explaining outcomes, financial accountability, and key takeaways from the projects. Things to include in your plan: saving all receipts and keeping reliable financial records, like a simple project ledger (Please see template example and example ledger on website)

These teaching tools are designed to support teachers in creating comprehensive lesson plans to cover public health-related content in the classroom. The resources are guidelines and suggestions for teachers to use and considered appropriate for your classes.

You can access the lesson plans by visiting the School Health Teaching Tools page.

Students and staff can take this Self-assessment | Ontario.ca if they have any symptoms of illness or tested positive for COVID-19. Recommendations will be provided on what to do next.

Infectious Disease Reference Guide for Schools

Principals are legally required to notify public health if a student is suspected to have or is diagnosed with a disease of public health significance (see Reportable Diseases of Public Health Significance List in Infectious Diseases Reference Guide for Schools)

Reporting a Disease of Public Health Significance

Reporting Chicken Pox 

Occasionally, schools may notice an increase in absenteeism due to illness.  Schools are required to report to the Health Unit when absenteeism due to illness reaches 30% of the student population. However, if a significant number of students are ill in one class this should still be reported.  For example, if a primary classroom has 6-7 children off with similar symptoms within a day or two, this would be significant and should be reported.  If absenteeism is below 30%, please refer to internal school protocols and contact the manager of health and safety at your specific school board.

Reporting Increased Absenteeism

Reducing the Spread of Germs 

Infectious Diseases A-Z

Lice Information

Head lice treatment is free for Ontario residents 24 years and under through OHIP. Head lice treatment products are available at no cost for anyone age 24 years or younger who is not covered by a private plan. Families would need a health card number and have to get a prescription.

Food Allergy Canada
This page contains resources, information and links for schools to assist you in making your school a safe and inclusive place for students with food allergies.

EpiPen Videos
Includes Videos on how to use an EpiPen, when to use it, and severe allergy triggers.

Anaphylaxis in Schools: What educators need to know
A 30-minute free course developed for school boards, principals, teachers and staff. Contains information on how to develop strategies to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis and how to respond in an emergency, in compliance with Sabrina’s Law.

Diabetes at School | Video Series

The Diabetes@School video series makes it easy to learn about how to support students with type 1 diabetes in school.  Short animated videos covers a key concept in daily or emergency management.

Teacher Implementation tips for Asthma

Tips for managing asthma attacks

OPHEA Asthma e-learning-module

This e-Learning module is designed to support school staff in understanding and applying Ryan’s Law in their school to support the safety and well-being of students with asthma. Teachers must login into OPHEA for access

Epilepsy videos

With funding from the Ministry of Education, Epilepsy Ontario has developed a training tool for teachers to assist them in supporting students with epilepsy in the classroom.

BCHU uses a progressive discipline approach when dealing with issues related to vaping or smoking on school property. Progressive discipline includes meeting with students and providing counselling for tobacco and vaping cessation.

Smoke Free Ontario Act and Schools
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 prohibits smoking tobacco or cannabis and vaping any substance in certain areas, this includes school buildings or on school grounds including in a vehicle.  The schools and the Brant County Health Unit are working together to ensure that the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 is enforced.  Section 12(1) of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 outlines what activities are prohibited:

It is illegal to smoke (or hold lit tobacco) or vape in any public or private school:

  • indoor space
  • outdoor grounds, including playgrounds
  • public areas within 20 metres of the perimeter of the school’s grounds

It is also illegal to sell or supply tobacco or e-cigarettes to anyone under 19 is prohibited.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 – How the Act Affects: Schools (porcupinehu.on.ca)

Want Help Vaping or Smoking – Youth Resource

Progressive Enforcement Process and Student Support

  • If a student is found to be vaping or smoking on school property, school officials will email “Witness Reports” to the Health Unit at schools@bchu.org.  The Witness Report covers two types of occurrences – either smoking/vaping or supplying/selling of vape and tobacco products.
  • When the form is received at BCHU, a letter will be issued to the parents or guardian of the student. This “Warning Letter” is a first notice.
  • A School Public Health Nurse (PHN) will receive the witness report.  A PHN will contact the student at their school to have a one-on-one consultation to discuss the occurrence, the health implications of vaping/smoking and to explore smoking cessation options. Resources will be provided to support this dialogue.
  • In the event there is a second/third occurrence for the same student, BCHU will again be notified and Tobacco Enforcement Officer (TEO) will be advised. The TEO will contact school administration and schedule a time to meet the student and a summons will be issued ($365)

The work of the Sexual Health Nurse at GEDSB secondary schools includes one on one appointments offering:

  • STI screening and treatment
  • Plan B (emergency contraception)
  • Birth control, free condoms, and barrier devices
  • Urine pregnancy testing and pregnancy options counselling
  • Sexual health education and safer sex counselling

Schedule at schools

​Day Tuesday Wednesday Thursday​
AM​ ​Pauline Johnston Collegiate and Vocational School ​Grand Erie Learning
AlternativesParis District High School
Tollgate Technological Skills Centre
North Park Collegiate and Vocational

​PM Six Nations Polytechnic STEAM Academy Brantford Collegiate
Institute​​
Pauline Johnston Collegiate and Vocational School
North Park Collegiate and Vocational

The Brant County Health Unit holds immunization clinics in elementary schools for Grade 7and 8 students during the Fall and Spring for:

  • Meningitis (required to attend school as per the Immunization of School Pupils Act)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Human Papillomavirus

You can see more information regarding these clinics by visiting the School Clinics page.

Our dental team visits elementary schools in Brantford and Brant County every year to check up on students’ oral health in accordance with the Oral Health Protocol, 2018 and the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Regulation 570. Prior to the screenings, letters are sent home to the parents/guardians of those students in the grades being screened – depending on the school, this could include JK, SK, Grade 2, Grade 4 and Grade 7.

For more information, visit our School Visits page.

Eye health is an important part of overall health and helps kids develop, learn and read. Every year in Ontario 7,000 kids lose the use of an eye because they weren’t properly treated for a problem. The most common problems are hard to spot without formal eye tests. We support healthy eyes by connecting parents and kids to services and information.

Babies should have their first eye exam at six months old. One eye exam per year is free for kids 19 and under with an OHIP card. Book an appointment with an optometrist.

Please go to our main Kindergarten Resources page to access more resources on nutrition and mental health.

Printable QR Code for Kindergarten Resources