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 drug education/prevention program actually resulting in a decrease in the number of students who drink, smoke, or use marijuana?
  • 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?
  • 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,
    • use alcohol and/or marijuana,
    • 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 $200 honorarium annually in appreciation of your school's participation in the survey. That means, by participating in each year of our survey, your school can receive up to $800.

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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 date and time to administer the survey.
  • Provide student enrolment and class information for each participating class (to permit counting permission/information forms and questionnaires for each class).
  • Distribute questionnaire materials to teachers (prepared by COMPASS staff).

On the day of the survey, COMPASS staff will be present at the school to assist in implementing the survey:

  • Students complete a 30 minute questionnaire under teacher supervision.
  • Materials and clear instructions will be provided to classroom teachers by COMPASS staff.

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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.

  • An information letter is mailed home to parents by the school.
  • Parents use a toll-free number 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-printed and stuffed in stamped envelopes for the school by COMPASS project staff. Since COMPASS does not obtain lists of parent names and addresses, school staff are asked to affix parent mailing labels to the envelopes and put them in the mail on behalf of the project.

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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 8-10 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:

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Resources

 

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