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Administrative Procedure 164: WELLNESS


Wellness is a balanced state of active living, healthy eating, and social/emotional well-being. Health and quality learning are interdependent. Educational research supports this connection and acknowledges the Division’s role in creating and supporting healthy school communities as foundations for optimal learning. The Division is committed to a comprehensive school health approach that fosters lifelong wellness practices.


  1. The Comprehensive School Health approach in the Division focuses on three (3) priority areas: active living, healthy eating, and positive social/emotional environments, and acknowledges the interconnectedness between the three.
    1. Active Living
      1. Students who are physically active are more likely to exhibit on-task behaviour, academic success, and social inclusion. Incorporation of activity into daily routine and an active living lifestyle supports optimal physical, cognitive and social growth and development that helps maintain a healthy body weight and reduces the risk of chronic disease.
    2. Healthy Eating
      1. Nutrition plays a significant role in student growth, developing disease resistance, and physical and mental health. Students who make wise and healthy food choices based on Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating support optimal physical, cognitive and social growth and development while reducing their risk of obesity and chronic disease.
    3. Social/Emotional Well-being
      1. Students who have a strong sense of self and belonging and who feel safe and cared for at school are more likely to achieve greater academic success, have successful and rewarding relationships and exhibit positive social/emotional behaviours.

  2. Principals will identify a Wellness Champion to facilitate student and staff access to community resources to enable everyone to:
    1. Participate in active living opportunities both within and outside of school,
    2. Make healthy nutritional choices, and
    3. Promote positive social/emotional wellbeing.

  3. Employees will act from the understanding that staff advocacy and role modeling influence wellness and learning.

  4. Active Living
    1. Individuals have the knowledge, skills, attitudes and opportunities to live an active lifestyle. Principals, in conjunction with their staff will:
      1. Provide quality daily physical activity (grades 1 to 9) and encourage students to engage in physical activity inside and outside of regular curriculum to support their development as healthy, active learners;
      2. Provide for opportunities to meet the outcomes of the Physical Education Program of Studies; or meet the minimum time allocations for quality physical education;
      3. Use Physical Education expertise of the staff and others in providing/enhancing programming for students.

  5. Healthy Eating
    1. Individuals have the knowledge, skills, attitudes and opportunities to develop lifelong healthy eating practices.
    2. The primary reference for the provision, promotion, sale and distribution of food in schools shall be the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth from which principals, in conjunction with their staffs, shall provide foods from the “Choose Most Often” and “Choose Sometimes” categories, and limit foods from the “Choose Least Often” category. This Administrative Procedure does not impact lunches and/or snacks that students or staff members are bringing from home.
    3. Principals must ensure that strategies are in place to foster the knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote healthy eating for everyone. In fulfilling this expectation, principals, in conjunction with their staffs, shall:
      1. Promote nutrition education and create an environment of positive food and beverage messages;
      2. Establish strong connections between nutrition education and foods available at the school
      3. Schedule nutrition break(s) that provides time for eating and recreation; and
      4. Be encouraged to limit the use of food as a reward.
    4. All school communities will examine their nutrition practices and provide opportunities, support and encouragement for staff and students to consume healthy foods/beverages. In fulfilling this expectation, principals, in conjunction with their staffs, shall:
      1. Explore healthy fundraising options based upon foods from the “Choose Most Often” category and limit foods from the “Choose Least Often” category;
      2. Create an environment where healthy foods/beverages are available, affordable and promoted as the best choice;
      3. Review options with food suppliers to maximize the nutritional value of the items;
      4. Limit the number of items from the “Choose Least Often” category offered during special days;
      5. Be encouraged to model healthy nutritional practices.
    5. Principals are encouraged to create their own health and wellness team that includes students, staff, and parents, in collaboration with public health nurses and other health-related professionals.
    6. Principals shall promote healthy, reasonably priced food/beverage choices when sold or otherwise offered. In fulfilling this expectation, principals, in consultation with the school community, shall:
      1. Access expertise in the community through approaches including but not limited to partnerships, programs, referrals; and
      2. Offer healthy foods/beverages including healthy meal combinations.

  6. Social/Emotional Well-being
    1. Every Principal, in conjunction with staff, will actively develop the relationship between student/staff- sense of connectedness and their social/emotional well-being by:
      1. Supporting and embedding education programs to support emotional well-being.
      2. Creating learning environments where emotional well-being is role modelled and developed in students.
      3. Accessing the resources and links with community agencies, partners and support networks to help students/staff develop the skills to be aware of and monitor their emotional well-being.
    2. Every Principal, in conjunction with staff, will also:
      1. Access integrated, multidisciplinary social/emotional supports that may include partnerships with communities and other agencies.
      2. Provide a school environment that encourages making positive choices to support a healthy body image
      3. Provide education reducing the stigma surrounding mental health 


Section 11, 33, 52, 53, 55, 196, 197, 222 Education Act
Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth, 2012
Alberta Health Services Food Safety Information


Approved: August 21, 2018

Reviewed: July 2021