This step is about paying close attention to 'the way things are' within a school or school authority. It means taking stock of what's working well—identifying assets, strengths and resources—as well as surfacing any gaps or challenges. It's important to understand your school community so that you can set meaningful priorities, make informed decisions, and create plans that are likely to bring about positive change.

In Alberta, schools and school authorities draw on many forms of data to build an understanding of their school community:

  • Qualitative data involves observations, photos, anecdotes, and findings from open-ended surveys, focus groups, and interviews. It can also involve maps or inventories of the assets in your local area, like health and social services and community organizations.
  • Quantitative data includes numbers, statistics, and trends gathered from school-wide or authority-wide surveys and reports, or from provincial or national health sources, such as:

You can also gather your own data by using ready-made assessment tools specific to school health. The resources below are widely used in Alberta and beyond. 

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