Our Approach

For the 2018–19 and 2019–20 school years, WellAhead will focus on its role as a partner for knowledge mobilization, focusing on provincial and district leaders. We want to ensure that decision-makers across the education system have the information and evidence they need to develop and implement effective and sustainable approaches to promoting wellbeing. Our knowledge mobilization efforts will focus on the following:

  • Supporting leaders and decision-makers in their key role in creating the conditions for school communities to fully embrace wellbeing. Leaders need access to information, evidence, and ideas to develop and implement effective wellbeing approaches.

  • Focusing on school districts/jurisdictions as a key entry point for effective system-wide implementation of sustainable approaches to mental health and wellbeing in K-12 education.

  • Catalyzing support for teacher and staff wellbeing as an integral part of a whole-school, whole system approach to prioritizing wellbeing.

KnowledgeMobilization_notext_wide.png

Our Work

Since 2015, WellAhead has supported innovative work across Canada to develop, scale and learn about effective approaches to integrating wellbeing into K-12 education. Below are some examples of our work by jurisdiction.


British Columbia

WellAhead launched in British Columbia in August 2015. Since then, some of our activities in BC have included:

  • Supporting six school districts in the 2015–2016 school year to co-design and prototype everyday practices to support wellbeing. In the 2016–2017 school year, four of these districts have continued on and are being funded to scale these practices to additional schools, and integrate wellbeing into their district priorities.

  • Collaborating to convene a collective of K-12 education sector leaders, including ministries, leading non-profits, and leaders of the professional associations representing teachers, principals, superintendents, trustees.

  • Actively participating in and contributing to various provincial networks and collaboratives.

  • Partnering with Healthy Schools BC on two projects: the Mental Wellbeing Coaching Initiative, which is offering coaching support to 9 BC school districts, and a user-centred design process that engages teachers in informing physical and health education resources to support BC's new curriculum.


Alberta

WellAhead began scoping work and partnerships in Alberta in 2017, and is now supporting work planned for the next 3 school years.

  • This in-depth exploration process included: 35+ stakeholder interviews, 11+ school visits, mapping existing policies and initiatives, and a two-day convening of 50+ stakeholders from within and outside the education system.

  • For the next 3 school years, WellAhead is supporting the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) to advance educational leaders’ capacity to develop and implement effective approaches to promoting wellbeing district-wide, in keeping with the professional practice standards for leaders. This will include providing professional learning opportunities to district and school leaders, enabling peer-to-peer connection, and developing wellness resources as needed. The CASS/McConnell partnership will help further efforts to integrate wellbeing into organizational priorities, structures, resources and in the culture of the province’s education sector.


Ontario

WellAhead landed in Ontario in 2016. Our work in this province has included:


Pan-Canadian

As a national foundation, we work at a pan-Canadian level and find ways to make connections and support efforts beyond individual provinces. Some examples include:

  • Hosting national gatherings that bring together key thought leaders and influencers to discuss a vision for wellbeing in schools

  • Mobilizing transferable knowledge from one province/territory to another

One topic that we are currently exploring at the Pan-Canadian level is teacher and staff wellbeing. We have led a few preliminary actions in this area, including:

  • Outlining some of our early thinking in this short concept paper

  • Co-hosting a National Summit on Teacher and Staff Wellbeing with McGill University in November 2018 (summary here)

  • In partnership with McGill and a working group following the Summit, producing:

An infographic on why teacher and staff wellbeing is important

A research brief on effective approaches to improving teacher and staff wellbeing

A webinar led by Drs. Kim Schonert-Reichl and Mark Greenberg with an overview of the research on TSWB and its connecting to student success and wellbeing

If you’re interested in teacher and staff wellbeing, you can sign up for future updates on our Contact page.