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Engaging Parents in the Healthy Schools Movement Project

Introduction: Research shows that parent engagement in healthy schools is connected to better outcomes for students, and healthy children are better prepared to learn. The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), in partnership with area school boards and funded by the Ministry of Education, is seeking feedback from parents of school-aged children across the region to gain a better understanding of the barriers to engagement, and discover new ways to increase parent-school connection in Northwestern Ontario.

Purpose: The goal of this project is to actively engage parents in creating healthy schools and have a positive impact on student success. The primary objective of the project is to collect and synthesize information regarding increasing parent involvement in schools in our health unit catchment area, related to healthy schools and equity.

Feedback from parents will be obtained in 4 different ways:

  1. Online Survey: An online survey available in English: and in French: are currently being promoted through media and social media. The survey will run during the month of March and is open to parents across the region. Results will be prepared overall, as well as by School Board where sufficient data exists.

  2. Online Discussion Panel: A virtual discussion panel made up of parent panelists from across the region, facilitated by NWHU via the ‘Talk Public Health: Online Discussion Panel’. More information and the results of past panels can be found here.  Recruitment will take place through school communication and social media. Parents will receive a $30 honorarium for participating in this panel running March 21st to April 4th.

  3. Discussions at School Council Meetings: NWHU staff will attend school council meetings in February and March of participating schools and facilitate 15-20 minute discussions related to enhancing parent engagement in healthy schools.

  4. Community-based Focus Groups:  A number of community-based focus groups will be held parent participants, in partnership with a variety of host organizations across the region. These focus groups will offer a $20 honorarium for participating, and are intended to reach parents not connected to the school through school councils.
Project deliverables: A resource/tool will be developed that will help school councils and parent involvement committees to engage parents in creating healthy schools in the future. The resource will align with the Ministry of Education Foundations of a Healthy School resource. Information will also be shared back on our website and with each group of participating parents.

For more information contact:

Stephanie Cran, Health Promoter
Phone: (807) 223-3301 extension 3538

Related Links:

Parents Reaching out Grants