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Please take the time to review any programs, services and/or events that you offer, in order to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Review our COVID-19 Information for Workplaces page for more information.

A focus on health in schools is an important part of enabling all students to reach their full potential.

Renfrew County and District Health Unit supports school boards, teachers, students and parents at 42 elementary schools and 11 high schools with health related programs and services that are congruent with the expectations of the Ontario Health and Physical Education elementary and secondary Curriculum and the Ontario Public Health Standards.

Health Promoters and Public Health Nurses are available to assist elementary and high school with implementing components of the Foundations for a Healthy School:

  • Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  • School and Classroom Leadership
  • Student Engagement
  • Social and Physical Environments
  • Home, School and Community Partnerships

Health Unit staff also provide:

  • Immunization Clinics
  • Dental Screening
  • Vision Screening
  • Food Safety Consultations and Tobacco Control

For more information about our School Health Programs and Services contact:

Immunization Clinics

All children attending school between the ages of 4 to 17 need to be immunized according to Ontario’s immunization schedule. Immunization protects children from many serious diseases that are easily spread in schools.  For more information see our immunization page.





Guidance Documents

Useful Resources







Ressources utiles

Everyone has the potential to come into contact with microscopic germs during interactions with people and the environment. Schools have common characteristics that include shared spaces such as washrooms and classrooms.

Link: How to Wash Your Hands/How to Sanitize Your Hands

Link: Steps to Put on and Remove a Face Mask

Link: Steps to Put on and Remove a Cloth Mask/Face Covering

PHO Link: COVID-19 Preparedness and Prevention in Elementary and Secondary (K-12) Schools: Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Overview 


It is important to keep school settings clean to stop the spread of illness. Cleaning is the physical removal of dirt and germs from a surface by wiping or scrubbing, while disinfection kills germs using a chemical solution.

Tips to Remember

Not all products are equal: some are cleaners, some are disinfectants, and some can be used for both. Review the label and ingredients to figure out what your product can be used for. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for product use (e.g., how long it must stay wet on a surface, mixing, and safety instructions). High-tough surfaces include doorknobs, activities and horizontal surfaces, such as table tops, are where bacteria and microorganisms are prone to settling. These surfaces require frequent cleaning and disinfection.

Link: Cleaning and Disinfecting in Public Settings

Public Health Ontario: Chlorine Dilution Calculator 

Health Canada: Hard-Surface Disinfectants and Hand Sanitizers (COVID-19) 

Health Canada: Medical Devices for Use Against Coronavirus (COVID-19)


The Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act lists over 70 communicable diseases that must be reported to local health units. Directors of many institutions, including schools, are responsible for reporting suspected cases of reportable diseases to the local Health Unit. All reports are followed up by a Public Health Nurse or Public Health Inspector.

The Communicable Disease Guidelines for School and Child Care Facilities is intended to provide you with general information about communicable diseases commonly experienced by children, and to help you identify and prevent the spread of illness. Within this guide, you will find a description of common childhood diseases including information on how they are spread; incubation periods; periods of communicability; prevention; and facility reporting requirements. There is also information on general infection control practices that any facility can implement to prevent the spread of disease.

Communicable Disease Guidelines for Schools and Child Care Facilities 2019

How to report communicable diseases

  1. See the list of Reportable Diseases.
  2. For diseases which need to be reported immediately, call 613-732-3629 during office hours, and 613-735-9926 during evenings, weekends and holidays.
  3. For all reportable diseases, complete the Communicable Disease Reporting Form for Child Care & Schools and fax to 613-735-3067 by the next business day.

Useful Resources and Signage

Hand Washing (English)

Hand Washing (French)

Alcohol Based Hand Rub (English)

Childhood Illness and Exclusion Guide (English)

Ottawa Public Health Chain of Infection

Are Your Tots Up to Date with Their Shots

We are Seeing: An Increase in Gastrointestinal Symptoms

We are Seeing: An Increase in Respiratory Illness


Teachers in Renfrew County and District can borrow teaching resources from the Health Unit for a two-week period.

Health and Physical Education Teaching Resources

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit Dietitian works in partnership with Health Unit school contacts to promote healthy eating in schools.

Bright Bites logo



Formerly called ‘Nutrition Tools for Schools’, BrightBites is a free, non-profit program created by Registered Dietitians working in public health units across the province.

Students and teachers need to eat well to be at their best, physically and mentally. Boosting school nutrition can be challenging. BrightBites makes it easy and rewarding! Win badges, receive recognition and watch your school transform – one bite at a time.

For support to create a healthy nutrition environment in your school contact Carolyn Froats-Emond, RD at 613-732-3629.

Sip Smart! Ontario logo

Sip Smart!™ Ontario is a licensed classroom educational program that helps teach children in grades 3 to 7 about sugary drinks and about making healthy drink choices. Teachers can use Sip Smart!™ Ontario lessons to meet expectations in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Healthy school committees and school councils can use Sip Smart!™ Ontario to promote healthy drink choices throughout their school and at school events. Earn this badge by educating children and taking action to reduce children’s intake of sugary drinks.


Since 2013, the Renfrew County Youth Network (RCYN) with leadership from the Renfrew County and District Health Unit has been striving towards the development, implementation and sustainability of a Renfrew County Youth Engagement Strategy. The strategy would provide a framework for decision makers and community organizations to inform decision making to meet the needs of local youth.

The report intends to provide a summary of survey feedback collected through online surveys of youth aged 12-24 years of age and RCYN members and a series of youth sharing circles hosted by RCYN members throughout Renfrew County.

Renfrew County Youth Needs Assessment Report, 2018 (English) (PDF 73 pages)

Rapport d’évaluation des besoins des jeunes du comté de Renfrew, 2018 (French) (PDF 84 pages)

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Pembroke Office

TEL: 613-732-3629 or 1-800-267-1097

Renfrew Office

TEL: 613-432-5853 or 1-800-465-5000