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revised November 23, 2011

Arrow BulletSchool Health Assessment Survey

What is the School Health Assessment Survey?
  • The school health assessment is a survey for students in grades seven to 12 . It covers a wide range of health topics that can affect school-age children.
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Who is Conducting the Peel School Health Assessment Survey?
  • Peel Health, your local public health unit, has developed the survey. Public Health Nurses from Peel Health will bring the survey to your child's classroom. The nurses will stay in the classroom until every student has completed the survey and will be able to provide support and answer students' questions about the survey.
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Why is This Survey Needed?
  • In February 2002, Peel Health released the Child Health Report 2002 , a wide-ranging report on the health of our region's children. The report revealed several areas, including bullying, obesity, substance abuse, dental health, injury, sexual health and mental health, where there wasn't enough Peel-specific information to fully understand the current state of our children's health. The School Health Assessment has been designed to gather more data on these important areas of our children's lives.
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How Will the Survey Information be Used?
  • Under Peel Health's Comprehensive School Health program, public health nurses and other health professionals work with school administrators, teachers and parents on priority health issues in schools across the region. The School Health Assessment Survey will help identify these priority issues and help the teachers, administrators, parents, nurses and other health professionals develop programs to meet the specific needs of your children.
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What Topic Areas are Included in the Survey for Students in Grades Seven and Eight?
  • The survey for students in grades seven and eight will include questions on the following topics:

    • eating habits and physical activity;
    • tobacco, alcohol and drugs;
    • self-esteem, mental health and relationships;
    • dental health;
    • sun safety;
    • safety and bullying in the community and at school; and,
    • student's age, sex and grade.
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What Topic Areas are Included in the Survey for Students in Grades Nine to 12?
  • The survey will include questions on the following topics:

    • eating habits and physical activity
    • sexual health
    • dental health
    • sun safety
    • tobacco, alcohol and drugs
    • self-esteem, mental health and relationships
    • safety and bullying in the community and at school
    • student's age, sex and grade
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Why Do You Need to Measure Height and Weight?
  • Weight alone is not an accurate way to look at health. By measuring both height and weight, Peel Health can calculate a measure called Body Mass Index (BMI). You may have heard of BMI for adults, and this measurement is similar but more suited for children and teens. BMI is an excellent way to identify health risks associated with being overweight or underweight.

  • The Body Mass Index calculations for children and teens are age-specific, and sex-specific, too. Boys and girls mature at different times, and it would be unfair to use the same measure to assess both. The Public Health Nurses who take the height and weight measurements will talk to your child to explain the reason for taking the measurement and help ease any anxieties they might have about their own weight.

  • Each student's confidentiality is completely protected. One-by-one, students will be called from their desks and go with a Public Health Nurse to a screened, private area. Each student will remove their shoes and the Public Health Nurse will weigh each child and measure their height, too. The nurse will then walk the student back to their desk. The nurses will keep the height and weight information confidential, and no-one else – not even the teachers – will get to see your child's weight. Students will be encouraged to keep this information private.

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How Long Will the Survey Take?
  • The survey will take students approximately 30-40 minutes to complete. While the questionnaires are being completed, height and weight measurements will be taken.
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Why was My Child's School Chosen to Take Part in This Survey?
  • A computer program picked your child's school at random from all of the schools in Peel.
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My Child Isn't Involved in Any of the Things Included in the Survey. Why Should They Participate?
  • Your child may not be affected by or be involved with some of the activities on the survey, and that's important to know. By understanding the needs of and issues faced by our children, we get a much better picture of how important these issues are in our community. Just think… if we only got answers from the children who are struggling, we wouldn't be able to get a true picture of the health of our community.

  • Many of the behaviours that lead to good or poor health in adulthood start in childhood. By using the information from this survey, Peel Health can not only develop programs to improve the health of our children today but also help create a healthier generation of adults. By completing the survey, your child can help their friends and classmates reach a better, healthier future.

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What Happens If My child is Uncomfortable With One or More Questions?
  • Your child can skip over any question that makes them feel uneasy or uncomfortable. The Public Health Nurses who are conducting the survey will be available to provide support or counselling to any child who is concerned with any question on the survey.
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Can I See My Child's Results?
  • No. Your child will not be asked to put their name on the survey, and in fact, they will be encouraged not to write any personal information on the survey at all! All survey results will be combined to protect each individual child and school. Peel Health will then identify broad, general health trends across age groups and grades, and use this information to help guide future health programs for children across the region.
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For More Information
  • For more information, call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.
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Revised: November 23, 2011


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