A Process for Developing Healthy School Communities
This 6-step process should be followed when planning and developing wellness initiatives. The process is cyclical and should be reviewed on an on-going basis. (Queensland Government. 2005; Health Promoting Schools Toolbox, JCSH 2008)
Careful planning is the key – don’t lose momentum:
- Identify health champions
- Form a wellness committee with a cross-section of stakeholders
- Plan how to embed the initiative into the culture of the school from the start!
- Understand that not everyone will be on board in the beginning
Create a shared vision
What is the ideal situation – what is the project trying to achieve?
- Involve a range of stakeholders
- Consider what a healthy school community should look like
- Brainstorm how the school can become a happier and healthier place to live, work and play
- Be ready to communicate the vision to the school community
Determine the priority issues
Consider what has already been achieved and identify the priority issues moving forward.
- Use assessment or planning tools like the JCSH or TTFM survey data and engage as many stakeholders as possible in the process
- Target issues for which there are already resources – start with the easiest priorities to gain momentum
- Communicate the determined priority areas with the school
- Accept that change will take time
Develop an Action Plan
Develop a plan to continue moving forward to build upon the good things already happening in the school community:
- State each identified goal – make it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time-related)
- Identify strategies and actions required
- List human and material resource requirements and specify a budget as required
- Specify roles and responsibilities
- Identify links to the curriculum
- Plan to share with the school community
Implement and Monitor
The more comprehensive the action plan, the easier the implementation will be:
- Hold a launch; let everyone know each time an activity is taking place and exactly what is going to be happening
- Keep open lines of communication between all individuals involved
- Continuously track progress so that amendments or changes can be made to the plan as necessary
- Ensure everyone is aware of any changes being made
Reflect, Evaluate and Celebrate
Bring closure to activities even as next steps are planned and take time to reflect:
- Were the planned goals reached?
- Review the action plan and record results
- Gather input/data from the whole school community
- Consider what worked and what did not and analyze why
- How were the 4 pillars of a CSH approach impacted?
- Be proud of the achievements and celebrate them