School Wellness Programs

Office of School Wellness Programs

Wellness means being healthy in mind and body. New York City public schools offer  a wide range of wellness programs. Also, DOE's Wellness Policies and initiatives, like Move-to-Improve, the School Wellness Council grant program and the Health Education Leadership Program, are part of a larger commitment to raising student achievement levels and combating the childhood obesity epidemic. 

Student success depends on a blend of academic skills, good health, and physical and mental fitness. For quick reference guides on health and physical education requirements in our schools, as well as standards, recommended resources, and more, click here. Also, a recent report indicates that school-based physical activity may help improve students’ grades and test scores and positively affect other factors that influence academic achievement. The report also concludes that adding time during the school day for physical activity does not appear to take away from academic performance.

Fitness and health activities in school encourage students to:

  • Be physically active.
  • Learn to make healthy decisions and develop a healthy lifestyle.
  • Experience traditional and non-traditional health-related fitness activities.

OSWP’s fitness and physical education program focuses on a health-related fitness education curriculum; integration of NYC FITNESSGRAM, a standardized fitness assessment tool drawn from decades of research and designed specifically for New York City public school students; and a physical activity program for adolescents, the CHAMPS Middle School Sports and Fitness Program.

Comprehensive health education, beginning in elementary school and continuing through high school, includes age-appropriate lessons on injury prevention; mental and emotional health; nutrition; tobacco, alcohol and other drugs; family health and sexuality; HIV/AIDS; and personal and consumer health. Mandatory HIV/AIDS lessons for kindergarten through 12th grade are supported by a curriculum which offers age-appropriate lessons.

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