Administrative Procedure 164

Health Promoting School Environment


The Division is committed to ensuring every school provides a safe and healthy environment for students and staffs that facilitates health and wellness and promotes healthy lifestyle choices. The promotion of children’s health and well-being, physical activity, and social emotional growth in schools is important to student learning and increased achievement. Health and education are interdependent as healthy students are better learners. A healthy school community is one that supports the wellness of students and staff through the implementation of a comprehensive school health framework that fosters and maintains a health promoting school environment. A healthy school environment provides a consistent message to students, staff and parents by ensuring foods served within the school meet the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth and promotes physical activity.

Each Principal will support a comprehensive school health focus by promoting healthy eating, physical activity and positive well-being within the school community. 


  1. The Principal shall create a healthy school environment through promoting the importance of healthy eating, active living and providing a positive social environment.
  2. Principals shall ensure that any food items served, sold or otherwise made available at school or during school sponsored events or activities, including hot lunch or snack programs, fundraising activities, sporting events and/or celebrations, follows the recommendations of the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth’s “choose most often” and “choose sometimes” categories.
    Certain rare events in a school may include, for a variety of reasons, involvement of foods from the “Choose Sometimes’ and ‘Choose Least Often’ categories. In communication with parents, a Principal may allow for a specific event to include one ‘Choose Least often’ food (ie. graduation, end of year farewell ceremonies). Food from the ‘Choose Least Often’ category is provided by the school only.
  3. School staff will promote Daily Physical Activity (DPA) in addition to following the requirements of the provincial program of study for Physical Education to ensure regular active living opportunities are provided to all students.
  4. School staff will promote a positive social-emotional learning environment in accordance with the provincial program of study for Health and Wellness and ensure positive behaviour support systems contribute to providing a safe, healthy and caring environment for all students.
  5. School staff and parent community will promote health and wellness in students, the benefits of a health promoting school on student learning and achievement and, in collaboration with community agencies and Alberta Health Services, promote a healthy school environment.
  6. Principals are encouraged to create a school-based health and wellness team that includes students, parents, staff and community agencies to promote comprehensive school health, and access additional resources that promote a healthy school environment.


February 18, 2015


September 21, 2016, July 6, 2018, December 30, 2021


Section  2, 11, 16, 33, 52, 53, 55, 196, 197, 222, Education Act
Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
Healthy Eating for Children and Youth in Schools

Cross Reference

AP 164 Appendix A Healthy Eating Food Guide