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The school-year has come to a close, and students, parents, and educators are all celebrating their accomplishments over the past few months. We’ll share some of the news and achievements from our Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being (KNSWB) and from our communities of practice.

The Steering Committee for the KNSWB met on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton. There were two main tasks at hand for the meeting. The first task was following up on the strategic planning we had done at the March 28 Steering Committee meeting, and the second was forward-focused updates on the activities of each community of practice.

The notes from our strategic planning day had been circulated in advance, and the top three priorities were 1) developing a shared vision and common language, 2) developing a communication plan, and 3) identifying and aligning common priorities.

We had a fruitful discussion about the shared vision and common language that came out of the broad consultation on well-being held by the Ministry of Education. Full details of this consultation are here.

The Steering Committee members endorsed the six elements of well-being, and agreed to use the relevant elements in describing their work. We distributed a brief postcard that outlines these elements for quick reference.

The Steering Committee members also reviewed a draft communication plan. The first objective of the plan is to improve communications within the Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being, with the eventual objective of improving communication between all of the KNSWB members and our respective stakeholders. We will be using quarterly newsletters, and will schedule a monthly teleconference as the primary vehicles for communication.

As part of the Steering Committee meeting, each community of practice and each partner was asked to share a “forward-thinking” update on what they anticipated would be the directions they will take over the next year. This led into a discussion of shared opportunities to build on events, work, or projects that other partners described. The details of the updates are described in more detail in the minutes of the Steering Committee, and we have included a few highlights below.

Unfortunately our partners from the Ministry of Education were unable to attend, as they are busy planning for the transition to a new government. We’re scheduled to meet with them in mid-July and will share any updates that come out of that meeting.

School Mental Health ASSIST has developed an overview of their renewed strategic directions for 2017-2020. You can learn more here.

The strategic plan builds on their five pillars of:

1. Establish organizational conditions.

2. Build capacity.

3. Introduce evidence-based mental health promotion and prevention programming.

4. Support specific populations.

5. Contribute to system coordination across sectors.

Additional elements include an emphasis on youth leadership and family engagement, and deepening the work that has begun on evidence-based practices.

Our partners at PREVNet have announced that they received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada for “Preventing Gender-Based Violence: The Health Perspective Supporting Educators’ Capacity to Prevent Dating Violence and Promote Healthy Relationships”. This project will engage educators in the design and trial of resources designed to help educate teachers and teachers-in-training about teen dating violence and healthy relationships. The KNSWB has already been working with PREVNet to facilitate connections with educators to participate in the project.

PREVNet also shared details about an upcoming video they have produced about the effects of bullying on mental health. The video is in final editing, with an anticipated release date of August. There are several alternative versions of the video, with short clips available for You-Tube and other social media platforms. Additional topics have been identified and filming is underway.

The Social Planning Network of Ontario has been busy in a number of communities across Ontario. They have connected with our colleagues at RSEKN, the Equity Knowledge Network and will be presenting a workshop on their efforts at the York University Faculty of Education Summer Institute in August. Title of the Summer Institute is: Realities in Data: Who counts...What counts...Who's counting? Details are available here.

You can find more details about their work on their new website: https://studentwellbeing.spno.ca/

The Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition has begun planning for their 2019 Annual Conference. They have had some preliminary conversations about co-hosting the conference with Nipissing University in North Bay. Stayed tuned for details on speakers and program.

The Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being has also been busy producing new knowledge resources. We have five new “Research in Brief” summaries of recent systematic reviews. The titles are:

“Do Later School Start Times Benefit the Education, Health, and Well-Being of High School Students?”

“Effectiveness of School-Based Mental Health Services for Elementary School Children”

“Effective Asthma Education for School Staff”

“Effectiveness of Self-Regulation Interventions in Children and Adolescents”

“Associations Between Socioeconomic Background, Inequality, School Climate, and Academic Achievement”

These titles (and all of our other RIB’s) are available in English and French on the KNAER Knowledge Hub or the Ontario Education Research Exchange.

For further information on the Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being, visit https://www.knaer-recrae.ca/well-being.