Please note: The Renfrew office location at 450 O’Brien Road, will be closed to the public as of June 22, 2023. Faxes must be sent to 613-735-3067. For details, visit: RCDHU Renfrew Area Services – Temporary Relocation.
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 (RCDHU) 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
RCDHU 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Schools have common characteristics that include shared spaces such as washrooms and classrooms. Infection control measures play a critical role in creating a healthy learning environment for students and staff.
- Steps to Put on and Remove a Face Mask
- Steps to Put on and Remove a Cloth Mask/Face Covering / Comment mettre et retirer un masque
- Cover Your Cough – Elementary / Couvre ta toux – Élémentaire
- Cover Your Cough – Secondary / Couvre ta toux – Secondaire
- Diapering Children
- Increase in Gastrointestinal Illness for Children
- Increase in Respiratory Illness for Children
- Washroom Etiquette for Children
- My Mask Protects YOU – Elementary / Mon masque te protège – Élémentaire
- My Mask Protects YOU – Secondary / Mon masque te protège – Secondaire
- Washing Your Hands / Le lavage des mains
- RCDHU: COVID-19 Information and Resources
- Ontario: School and Child Care Screening Tool
- RCDHU Fact Sheet: PPE in Schools
- Ontario: Case Definitions and Disease-Specific Information – Disease: Diseases caused by a novel coronavirus, including Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Government of Canada: Reducing COVID-19 risk in community settings: A tool for operators
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.
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.
How to report communicable diseases
- See the list of Reportable Diseases.
- For diseases which need to be reported immediately, call 613-732-3629 during office hours, and 613-735-9926 during evenings, weekends and holidays.
- 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 Wash (English)
Hand Washing (French)
Alcohol Based Hand Rub (English)
Childhood Illness and Exclusion Guide (English)
Teachers in Renfrew County and District can borrow teaching resources from the Health Unit for a two-week period.
The Renfrew County and District Health Unit Dietitian works in partnership with Health Unit school contacts to promote healthy eating in schools.
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 our Registered Dietitian at 613-732-3629 ext. 327.
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)