Comprehensive School Health

Using a Comprehensive School Approach

A healthy school community supports the wellness of all its members (students, teachers, staff and parents). It also works to be a healthy setting for living, learning and working. Comprehensive School Health is an internationally-recognized, effective approach for building healthy school communities.

It can be used to address many health issues and can improve health, education and social outcomes for children and youth. The resources on this website are meant to support teachers, students, school administrators, school jurisdiction staff, health professionals, parents and community members in building healthy school communities.

A comprehensive school health framework to teach sexual health has four components:

Comprehensive School Health

Teaching and learning

  • This includes resources, activities and curriculum where students gain skills and knowledge.
  • Make sure classroom instruction incorporates sexual and gender diversity, not just when teaching the sexuality curriculum, but integrated throughout all curricula. For example, in language arts, students can read a story about a family with two dads. Teaching and learning can also refer to teacher learning.
  • Think about holding a ‘lunch and learn’ for staff who feel they may not know enough about the topic to address sexual and gender diversity in the classroom.

Healthy school policy

  • This includes management practices, decision-making processes, and policies and procedures that promote and support health and wellness.
  • Create and follow school policies and student codes of conduct for sexual and gender diversity.

Partnerships and services 

  • This includes the connections between schools, families and community stakeholders.
  • Think about inviting school-approved community partners to help create a culture of inclusivity.

Social and physical environments

  • This includes the quality of the relationships between the school community stakeholders, the emotional well-being being of the students and the physical space.
  • Support developing peer support or inclusion groups, such as Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) and Queer-Straight Alliances (QSAs).


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