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:  

  • Congratulations to School Wellness Council of the Year: Chancellor Fariña presented the 2nd annual Kathleen Grimm School Wellness Countil of the Year award to P.S./M.S. 278, Paula Hedbavny School in Manhattan, at a celebration event on June 9 at Hunter's Point Community School. To learn more about School Wellness Councils and how they energize parent and community involvement in our schools, click here.
  • 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.
  • Summer Condom Program and Sexual Health Information: Click here for a list of locations where teens can access free condoms and sexual health information over the summer. The Condom Availability Program web page has information to support high school health resource rooms throughout the school year, including how to order condoms.
  • Plan for Move-To-Improve in 2016-17: Grade K-5 teachers Citywide (including cluster, PE, and special education teachers) can start planning for free Move-to-Improve (MTI) training starting this fall to learn the many benefits of integrating physical activity into the classroom. We're offering new training models to fit your school’s needs and to share the benefits of becoming an MTI All-Star.
  • 2015-16 School Wellness Council Continuation Grant winners: Congratulations to our 76 Continuation Grant awardees. Wellness councils at these schools used the grant funds for projects that promote healthy school environments and improve overall wellness in the school community.
  • Subscribe to the School Wellness Weekly by signing up here.