Most young people in Ontario spend much of their time in school. Of particular importance to a young person’s resilience is the feeling of belonging and acceptance at school.

Schools contribute to resilience when:

  • The curriculum promotes young people’s ownership and interest in their learning.
  • Young people feel valued as individuals within the school.
  • Diversity is respected within the school.
  • There is a clear organizational and decision-making structure in the school.
  • There is at least one teacher who believes in and connects with the young person.
  • Teachers have high expectations of students and are committed to seeing the potential of individual young people.

Strategies to strengthen this factor:

  • Support schools to implement the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Foundations for a Healthy School and the Health and Physical Education Curriculum for elementary and secondary students.
  • Support students to set up groups and campaigns that help to create a safe and welcoming environment for all students, such as Gay-Straight Alliances.
  • Implement anti-bullying and violence prevention programs.
  • Establish and implement policies on equity and safe schools.

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