Health & Wellness

Promoting Health & Wellness in our Schools and Communities

At Grande Yellowhead Public School Division, we believe in the importance of creating a positive and supportive division culture of wellness in both its learning and working environments. Our division works hard to build a healthy school community which supports the wellness of all children and adults in the school community by promoting wellness through the implementation of a Comprehensive School Health framework. Promoting healthy living positively impacts students in their learning and helps both children and adults make healthier choices.

A focus on wellness is included in the provincial Programs of Study, which identify what students are expected to learn and do in all subject and grades from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

To learn more, please visit the Alberta Education website under Programs of Study - Wellness Education.

There are four distinct pillars which support the work around Comprehensive School Health as per the Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health.

Through the lens of a Comprehensive School Health approach, we focus on five areas of wellness for all children and adults: physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual. 

Health & Wellness Initiatives in Our Schools
Creating a Welcoming Inclusive Environment
Fostering Positive Mental Health & Relationships
Nutrition & Healthy Eating
Physical Activity

Curriculum Alignment

A focus on wellness is included in the provincial Programs of Study, which identify what students are expected to learn and do in all subject and grades from Kindergarten to Grade 12. To learn more, please visit the Alberta Education website under Programs of Study - Wellness Education.

Partnerships and Services

We are privileged to be supported by many community organizations, generous corporate donors and many volunteers who work with our students and staff to ensure their school’s health and wellness needs are met.

Supporting Documents and Links

Health and Wellness Initiatives in our Schools

We believe in a whole school approach to health and wellness and we are proud to have a School Health Champion leading a Health Team in each of our schools as well as a Health Team for our central office staff. These Health Teams develop and support a number of wellness initiatives and activities by focusing on the areas of healthy eating, physical activity and creating positive social environments which includes healthy relationships.

School Health Teams are involved in organizing health and wellness initiatives and supporting school staff with professional development. They also work in partnership with School Councils and other community groups to coordinate activities such as Winter Walk Days to implementing healthy snack programs at their schools. Please click on one of the links below to see what wellness activities and supports are available at your school!

Supporting Documents and Links

Fostering Positive Mental Health & Relationships

For all our students to thrive, it is important that they learn lifelong strategies to build healthy relationships as well as develop coping skills to overcome daily challenges. For example, through our partnership with Alberta Health Services on the Bringing Empowered Students Together (B.E.S.T.) Mental Health Capacity Building In-School Initiative, many of our students participate in programs which assist in the development of managing anxiety, stress and other interpersonal attributes. 

It is essential for our schools to develop strong partnerships within our communities to work together to create positive social connections for our staff and students. Some of these partners include the local R.C.M.P. detachments, mental health agencies, Alberta Education, Alberta Health Services, many youth organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, BEST, community groups such as Edson Bully-Free Committee, and most importantly, with our parents. We are also proud to provide in-house supports with our Family School Liaison Workers who assist staff, students and their families in times of need. 

Our division offers resources and supports both internally and externally such as psychological assessments, interventions and consultation for our students.

Supporting Documents and Links

Health & Nutrition

Good health and nutrition are required to achieve one’s full educational potential. Numerous studies have linked good nutrition with readiness to learn, academic achievement, as well as decreased discipline and emotional problems. At GYPSD, we recognize that students spend up to 50% of their waking hours in school and consume 30-50% of their daily food intake during this time. This makes schools an ideal setting to promote and encourage healthy eating habits through education, peer and adult role modeling, environmental changes and supportive polices that enable students to make healthy choices. 

As a division we are moving to align with the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth in supporting good nutrition by offering healthy food options to our students and staff in vending machines on school grounds; breakfast, snacks and lunch days; and at division/ school hosted meetings or events. Many of our schools also participate in Club Moo where milk products are provided to students along with healthy snacks or lunches.

We have a lot of community support with cash donations and volunteers to assist in preparing breakfast programs for our students. If you would like to help out, we encourage you to contact your school to see what current healthy eating initiatives are taking place. 

Grande Yellowhead recognizes the dangers faced by students with severe or anaphylactic reactions (allergies) to food. For example, many of our schools are now ‘peanut-free’. Although we cannot guarantee a complete allergen-free environment, our work hard to support our families in avoiding exposure to pre-identified foods and other allergens while their child is at school, or on school buses.

Supporting Documents and Links

Physical Activity

The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend children and youth should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily. Active children are more likely to:

  • Feel better about themselves and their physical ability (and cope better with stress).
  • Do better in math, reading and memorization. 
  • Be more creative and ready to learn. 

Children who have participated in physical education during the school day are also more likely to be active in their leisure time and develop lifelong habits of physical activity that supports a healthy lifestyle as an adult. 

GYPSD supports this recommendation by following the Alberta Education Daily Physical Activity Initiative which outlines that all students in grades 1-9 be physically active for at least 30 minutes/day during instructional time. We also encourage physical wellness in all our schools through offering physical education classes up to grade 12, participation in a diverse number of athletic teams and clubs. The division supports physical activities in all subject areas throughout the school day at all grade levels.

Supporting Documents and Links