Case Synopsis

After a phone call from Jessica Myles, a concerned principal, Amelia Brooks, the Director of Education with Maple Leaf District School Board, decided she needed to reduce sedentary behaviour among many students in her district. As she approached the end of her term as Director of Education, Amelia realized that if she wanted to take action and combat sedentary behaviour, the time was now. As a trained health promoter, Amelia knows the benefits and evidence around Active Schools, not just in improving physical activity, but also in supporting a culture of inclusive physical activity. Most Active Schools aim to promote a culture of inclusive physical activity, providing high-quality physical education and encouraging students to partake in 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) each day (Whitehead & Talbot, 2015). Active Schools programs support high quality physical education and encourage students to partake in 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day (Whitehead, MacCallum & Talbot, 2015). The Active School model also has the potential to decrease the levels of sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity in elementary students. Amelia needs to prepare a proposal for an upcoming board meeting that will be attended by key stakeholders. She needs to balance stakeholder interest while keeping the goal of active children central. In order to pass the motion to incorporate Active Schools activities into Maple Leaf District School Board programs, Amelia requires more than 50% of supportive votes from the Board of Trustees. Given the diversity of stakeholders and their range of perspectives and priorities (Board of Trustees, student trustees, and parent and teacher representatives) Amelia realizes the importance of her task.

Case Objectives

1. Identify key considerations for Amelia in preparing her proposal for the upcoming board meeting.

2. Create a health promotion planning model proposal to be presented at the upcoming board meeting that can be used as a key tool for the implementation of guidelines for Active Schools.

3. Develop a context-specific communication plan to be presented at the upcoming board meeting.

4. Discuss the different values, roles, and responsibilities of stakeholders and determine how their interests can be best prioritized and balanced.

Case Study Questions

1. What are the goals and objectives of an Active Schools model?

2. If the board does not embrace the Active Schools proposal, what could be suggested as a temporary or less resource-intensive alternative?

3. What are the roles and perspectives of the various stakeholders? How might they be aligned or different?

4. How might the Active Schools model be used as a form of primary (averting an onset) and secondary (early detection) prevention?


Active Schools; children and youth; communication stakeholder analysis; health promotion planning; physical activity; sedentary behaviour

Additional Author Information

Tierra Hohn, BPAPM, MPH

Lesley James, MPH, DrPH (c), Senior Manager, Health Policy

Gerald McKinley, PhD, Assistant Professor



Recommended Citation

Hohn, T., James, L. & McKinley, G. (2019). Active Schools: A Method to Combat Sedentary Behaviour? In: Sibbald, S.L. & McKinley, G. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2019. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.