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 Health Education Focus Schools, 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.

What's new in wellness: 

  • Register Now for Chancellor’s Day PE Professional Development: Join PE teachers, coaches, and physical education leaders Citywide on 6/9 for a full day of professional learning and collaboration at one location in Brooklyn. Register on Eventbrite here and choose from among 70 sessions on a wide range of topics.  
  • Move-to-Improve (MTI) Open Training on 6/9: Grade K-5 classroom teachers Citywide (including cluster, PE, and special education teachers) register here for an open MTI session on Chancellor's Day and learn the many benefits of integrating physical activity into the classroom. .
  • 7th Annual School Wellness Poster Contest Winners: See a list of winners and runners up by clicking here and stay tuned for updated images on our poster contest page. Thank you to all our students and teachers who submitted poster designs promoting healthy minds and bodies in schools.
  • 2015-16 School Wellness Council Continuation Grant winners: Congratulations to our 76 Continuation Grant awardees. Wellness councils at these schools will use the grant funds for ongoing wellness-related projects. The 2015-2016 application is now closed. To learn more about School Wellness Councils, click here.
  •  The Condom Availability Program web page has information to support high school health resource rooms, including how to order condoms.
  • Subscribe to the School Wellness Weekly by signing up here.