Step 3: Develop Your Plan and Take Action
As you review this information, please consider school and public health policies and protocols relating to COVID-19. This includes any safety (e.g., physical distancing, personal protective equipment, use of physical activity equipment) and confidentiality (e.g., student privacy when meeting remotely by video) measures that your school and/or school board have put in place.
While implementing Step 3 of the Healthy Schools Process, consider the following suggestions with regards to COVID-19:
Develop Your Plan
- Understand Your School’s Policies and Protocols: Ensure all members of your team are familiar with any policies and protocols in Ontario, your school board, and school. They may impact your ability to plan and implement certain types of activities (e.g., limiting numbers for group gatherings) and/or address certain health topics (e.g., Physical Activity–plan activities that consider social distancing and equipment cleaning protocols, Healthy Eating–plan activities that avoid food preparation in-school).
- Plan for In-school and Remote/Online Activities: Plan activities that can be delivered in-school and online so that all students can participate. Consult our Activity Ideas for different options, as well as guidance on how to implement activities in different settings.
- For online delivery of activities, consider including information on digital responsibility to ensure that students interact respectfully when participating (e.g., avoid instances of cyberbullying/exclusion).
- Reinforce Your Health Topic(s) Through Curriculum: Remember that Teaching and Learning is an important Healthy Schools Area. Address it by working with school staff to coordinate teaching students about your health topic(s) through curriculum. Teaching Tools offer resources to support teaching all health topics through the Health and Physical Education curriculum.
- Start Small: Given the uncertainties facing schools due to COVID-19, consider starting by planning and implementing small-scale, simple activities with your team that can be easily achieved within your school’s context. You can continue adding new activities throughout the year. Small successes will be a good way to keep your team motivated and still have an impact.
Take Action and Monitor Your Plan
- Healthy Schools Areas: Do your best to run activities that address as many of the Healthy Schools Areas as possible. It’s an effective, proven way to reach more students and will also allow you to earn more points toward certification. Not sure what a Healthy Schools Area is? Refer to the Healthy Schools Certification Guidebook to ensure you understand how these areas are being interpreted for the purposes of certification.
- Planning: Use your plan as a “live” planning document that you refer to as you implement your activities. Remember, plans change! Within the context of COVID-19, you may need to simplify activities or adapt your delivery as you go. Celebrate every success along the way, even if you can’t deliver on everything you planned—the fact that you’re prioritizing this work is what’s important!
- Team Meetings: Keep your approach to meetings flexible. Depending on your school’s situation, it may be easier to meet virtually with your team than in-person. Key learnings can be shared and documented at these meetings, or you can offer a central online location, such as Google Drive, where team members can insert key learnings as you go.