NCPS gets gold healthy school certification
Nottawasaga and Creemore Public School is counted among 15 Simcoe County District School Board schools to receive Healthy Schools certifications from Ophea.
NCPS achieved a gold level certification for its focus on mental health, by creating classroom calming corners, where a designated physical environment was designed to allow students to quickly access a quieter location to practice self-regulation and calming strategies.
Principal Mark McCain said he formed an NCPS Healthy Schools Committee to focus on supporting mental health, based on data collected in a school climate survey.
The committee includes three additional staff members – Mrs. Pike, Mrs. Doner-Day, and Mrs. Floyd, student leaders in Grades 6-8, and the community health nurse who planned and created classroom calming corners in various classrooms around the school, modeled after the school’s sensory room.
“These calming corners are a designated physical environment designed to allow students to quickly access a quieter location to practice prescribed self-regulation and calming strategies,” said McCain. “The spaces include visuals of breathing practices, soft lighting, kinesthetic manipulatives, mats/beanbag chairs, noise-cancelling headphones and other mindful resources.”
Ophea is a not-for-profit organization that champions healthy, active living in schools and communities and leads the provincial Healthy Schools initiative.
Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification recognizes and celebrates school communities for promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of students, school staff and the broader community. Participating schools complete the Six-Step Healthy Schools Process, which aligns with the Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School resource. Through a point-based system, schools planned their Healthy Schools process over the course of the school year. Schools outline the steps needed to achieve certification and apply to be certified as a gold, silver or bronze.
“We are proud to be part of the 238 schools across Ontario that have been certified as being a healthy school,” says Paula Murphy, Superintendent of Education and Well-Being, SCSDB. “Our schools focused on many areas – physical activity, healthy eating, safety and injury prevention, growth and development, mental health and addictions – to support the SCDSB’s strategic goal of well-being.”
SCDSB schools earned seven golds, three silvers, four bronzes and one participant level certification.