(S)chools (A)gainst (C)ancer: Using a (K)knowledge to Action Process—SACK— was a research initiative designed to support Prince Edward Island schools in interpreting local school-based survey results and using that evidence to inform planning and action for health- related initiatives within their school communities.
Prince Edward Island has a strong history of generating youth health evidence and translating that knowledge from researchers to knowledge users. The School Health Action, Planning, and Evaluation System – Prince Edward Island (SHAPES-PEI), implemented since 2008, was a biennial, ongoing data collection and knowledge exchange system that collected data from PEI students in grades 5-12 on various health behaviours. Each participating school received a school-specific profile of their students’ results that can be used to inform policy and action. Despite the availability of this valuable local data, the CSHR group identified a gap in the implementation of evidence-informed action at the school level. Research suggested that a lack of time, lack of support/resources, and lack of understanding of the evidence being provided were common barriers to the use of SHAPES-PEI results.
1) Increase knowledge exchange processes and uptake of available evidence.
2) Work collaboratively with school communities to develop sustainable action plans, based on available evidence, following a comprehensive school health framework.
PEI schools were given an open invitation to participate in SACK, and participating schools (n=10) represented an assortment of elementary, junior high, senior high and consolidated schools. Schools were asked to assemble school action teams, ideally composed of administration, staff, students, parents and community members. The CSHR group worked with school teams to identify priority areas based on SHAPES-PEI school data, tailor interventions to suit school needs, and implement sustainable school health activities to address modifiable risk behaviours to reduce cancer burden.
Detailed information regarding this project can be found in the SACK Technical Report.
Below are brief descriptions of the two SACK project deliverables, one intended for schools and the other intended for a broader school community audience. Click the titles of the reports below to view the full documents.
1) Building Healthy School Communities: A Guide for Moving Knowledge to Action in Schools
This fact sheet was designed to act as a guide for moving knowledge to action (KTA) within a school setting. Its development was informed through collaboration with parents, administrators, staff, students and others from school communities across Prince Edward Island. The document addresses the importance of using a comprehensive approach to school health, why moving knowledge to action in schools can be difficult, what school teams found useful in moving knowledge to action, and the importance of building networks of support.
2) Developing School-Community Partnerships: Lessons Learned from PEI Schools
Intended for a broader school community audience, the information presented here was intended to be used to enhance current and future school-community partnerships by providing guidance for community partners to support the development and sustainability of healthy school communities.
SACK was funded by a Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Knowledge to Action grant (#701900).