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.
A Health Promoter or Public Health Nurse is assigned to each elementary and high school to assist with implementing components of the four pillars of Comprehensive School Health:
- Social and Physical Environments
- Teaching and Learning
- Healthy School Policy
- Partnerships and Services
Health Unit staff also provides:
- Immunization Clinics
- Dental Screening
- Food Safety Consultations and Tobacco Control
Student Health Centres
Public Health Nurses are available for confidential health advice and counseling. High school students are encouraged to drop in. See the Student Health Centres schedule.
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.
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 36 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 613-735-8653 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.
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 Carolyn Froats-Emond, RD at 613-735-8651 extension 527.
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.