Information for teachers and school administrators

How does COMPASS benefit your school?

COMPASS is a unique opportunity to make your school's environment the healthiest it can be.

teacher with two studentsThe COMPASS project is an opportunity to answer important questions about your school such as:

  • Is the school's substance use education/prevention program actually resulting in a decrease in the number of students who drink, smoke, vape or use cannabis?
  • Are the school's anti-bullying policies effective?
  • Are efforts to provide healthy food at the school enough to result in a decrease in the number of overweight students or more students eating breakfast?
  • Are more physical activity programs translating into more active students?

Our team of experts who have designed the COMPASS study can use the data your school provides from our annual survey to equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed, evidence-based decisions about your school's health policies and programs.

For each year of participation in the COMPASS survey, your school will receive:

  • A comprehensive and easy-to-read School Health Profile. This report will outline the prevalence of a wide variety of health-related behaviours, such as how many students at your school
    • eat well,
    • are active,
    • smoke or vape,
    • use alcohol and/or cannabis,
    • demonstrate good mental wellbeing,
    • are bullied, and
    • feel connected to their school
  • Relevant, evidence-based recommendations for taking positive action.
  • Linkages with a Knowledge Broker and local public health professionals who can help your school take action.
  • A $250 honorarium annually in appreciation of your school's participation in the survey. 

back to top

What is involved for your school?

COMPASS staff work to ensure that the survey is easy to implement and to reduce the burden on school staff. The school designates a staff person as the primary contact for communications with COMPASS staff. COMPASS staff prepare all project materials. The school contact is asked to:

  • Schedule a suitable two week period to administer the survey to students in an online format.
  • Provide student enrolment to determine participation rates at your school.
  • Distribute a questionnaire link to the online questionnaire that students complete either individually at home or through teachers during class time.
  • Send out reminder emails to students during the two-week time frame of data collection.  
  • Materials and clear instructions will be provided to school administration by COMPASS staff.

back to top

Permissions

School board and school permission must be obtained before COMPASS can be implemented. Once a board and then a school agree to participate, parents are provided with information about the project in order to decide whether their child(ren) will participate.

COMPASS uses the active information-passive permission method.

  • Details about when the COMPASS survey will be administered at your child's school will be provided by either a parent information letter sent home, voicemail or bulletin on your school's website.
  • Parents use a toll-free number or email to inform COMPASS project staff if they do not want their child to participate in the survey.

To reduce the burden on the school, information letters are pre-written and sent via email to school administration by COMPASS project staff. School administration can choose to send information letters to parents through email, automated phone calls or website/social media. 

back to top

School Health Profile (SHP)

When your school completes the COMPASS survey, COMPASS will provide your school with a customized School Health Profile. This is a brief, easy-to-read report that summarizes your school's results and compares them to national and/or provincial benchmarks. Participating schools should receive their School Health Profile 4 weeks after completing the COMPASS survey. The School Health Profile includes suggestions for how your school can take action to improve the health of its students. In the report, contact information is provided for local public health professionals who can help you implement changes at your school, should you wish.

For more information on specific topics covered in the School Health Profile, click on the links below:

back to top

Resources

Obesity

Healthy eating

Physical activity

Sedentary behaviour

  • Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (PDF)
  • Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines (PDF)

Tobacco use

  • Quit4Life
  • Tobacco reduction resources for school aged youth
  • Smoke Free Alberta
  • Smoke Free Ontario

Drug and alcohol use

Bullying

 

back to top