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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:

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.

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.


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

  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 Wash (English)

Hand Washing (French)

Alcohol Based Hand Rub (English)

Childhood Illness and Exclusion Guide (English)

Ottawa Public Health Chain of Infection

Publicly funded immunization schedules for Ontario (June 2022)

Sign – We are Seeing: An Increase in Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Sign – We are Seeing: An Increase in Respiratory Illness


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 our Registered Dietitian at 613-732-3629 ext. 327.


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Pembroke Office

141 Lake Street, Pembroke, Ontario K8A 5L8

Phone: 613-732-3629
Toll Free: 1-800-267-1097
Fax: 613-735-3067

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Renfrew Service Hub (By Appointment Only)

120 Plaunt Street South, Renfrew, Ontario, K7V 1M5

Services offered by appointment only.

If you require an alternative accessible format or assistance accessing information on this page, please contact us at or 613-732-3629.