The Office of School Health (OSH) is a joint program of the New York City Department of Education and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). OSH provides health services and preventive services to DOE students. Resources for Families in the Aftermath of Sandy HookTo address the emotional needs for both students and their families dealing with the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, we recommend an excellent resource list from the Center for School Mental Health that contains a compilation of practical resources related to school crisis response that are free and readily available communities. This includes handouts and downloads. We also recommend: How to Talk to Children About Violence. Feel free to distribute as needed. Should you need additional resources, contact Scott Bloom, Director of School Mental Health Services at 212-374-6846. In addition, resources for DOE staff are posted on the Principals' Portal as well as on the Guidance and Teacher pages on the DOE web site.Please see the categories below for information about services provided by the Office of School Health:
Mandatory for Entry into the NYC School School System
New Admission Exam: First notice requesting CH-205. This letter is also available in Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | French | Haitian-Creole | Korean | Russian | Spanish | Urdu.
School or Student Specific Services
School or Student Specific Services
General Programs/Services and Other Information
Wellness Policies: DOE adopted Wellness Policies on Physical Activity and Nutrition in 2006, and revised them in 2010 to align with emerging knowledge and priorities in public health, particularly in the face of a national childhood obesity epidemic. To promote the health and well-being of our students through Wellness Policy-supported initiatives, check out the annual School Wellness poster contest, as well as the School Wellness Council grant opportunity for schools interested in forming or strengthening a School Wellness Council. To subscribe to a the Wellness Weekly, a publication on wellness opportunities and resources for your school, email Wellness@schools.nyc.gov and put “subscribe” in the subject line.
Health Related TopicsBed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood. They are usually active at night when people are sleeping. Their bites are initially painless, but for some people can later turn into itchy skin welts. While bed bugs are a nuisance and can be worrisome, they are not known to cause or spread disease. For additional information regarding bed bugs, view the Bed Bug Fact Sheet (available in Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | Haitian-Creole | Korean | Russian | Spanish | Urdu), visit the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's website, or call 311. If a suspected bed bug is found in a school, principals will submit a specimen following the protocol described in the Bed Bug Information Kit . If the specimen is confirmed to be a bed bug, principals may notify parents using the letter in the kit, which is also available in Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | French | Haitian-Creole | Korean | Russian | Spanish | Urdu. If the DOE Pest Management Unit finds that a school is infested (bed bugs living and reproducing in the area), parents of all the students in the building will be notified and DOE will provide the appropriate treatment in affected school areas. InfluenzaThe state health department has declared a public health emergency because of the severity of this year’s flu season. Schools and child-care facilities must post influenza educational material within their facilities, according to state law. A guide for parents is available here, and should be posted in the main office or other areas with high visibility to parents and families. Additional information is available from the Centers for Disease Control here.
Guidelines for Outdoor Play in Cold WeatherChildren benefit from vigorous exercise and should be given the opportunity to play outside whenever possible. Unless it is snowing or there is ice on the playground, low temperatures should not be a barrier to outside play, as long as children are appropriately dressed. The Health Department strongly encourages principals to maintain outdoor play periods on the vast majority of winter days. Communicable Disease/ Environmental & Food-Borne Illnesses: In suspected cases of communicable disease, environmental illness, or food-borne illness, schools will immediately notify OSH, which will conduct an investigation. If the investigation results indicate that notification of the school community is warranted, OSH will provide principals with letters to be distributed in classrooms and through the regular mail.
Obesity: Almost half of New York City children are not living with a healthy weight. Many are not physically fit. In addition to the fitness initiatives supported by the Office of School Wellness Programs, OSH works with the School Food program to improve the quality of student meals and encourage participation in the universal free breakfast program. The Department of Health has a helpful publication for parents titled Helping Children Reach a Healthy Weight. This publication is also available in Chinese and Spanish. Drink Low-Fat Milk: In an effort to help reduce childhood obesity, the Health Department and the Department of Education strongly encourage everyone ages 2 and older to drink 1% or fat-free milk rather than whole milk. Please distribute a letter from Chancellor Klein and Mental Hygiene Commisioner Frieden to families at your school. This letter is also available in Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | Haitian-Creole | Korean | Russian | Spanish | Urdu Pediculosis (Head Lice): For more information, please click here . Intimate Partner Violence affects tens of thousands of NYC teens and adults every year. Family members and friends are also impacted. To learn more about intimate partner violence and teen dating violence, and access available resources, please visit: this site.Prevent Window Falls: Open windows offer relief from the summer heat, but they can pose hazards for small children. To protect children from falls, the Health Department urges New Yorkers to make sure window guards are in place. The Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) is a nationally replicated, evidence-based, nurse home-visiting program for vulnerable first-time mothers. The Health Department oversees nine NFP sites throughout all five boroughs. NFP helps families improve maternal and child health, build a secure and nurturing relationship between parent and child, and reach education and employment goals. First-time mothers must enroll in NFP by their 28th week of pregnancy. Registered nurses, who follow a structured curriculum, make an average of two home visits per month during pregnancy and until the infant’s second birthday. Eligible students can be referred by completing a simple form.Sleep is very important to the development and growth of the body and brain. The amount of sleep needed varies with age. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that school-age children (5-10 years) need 10-11 hours of sleep daily, teens (10-17 years) need 8.5-9.5 hours, and adults need 7-9 hours. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorses the NSF’s recommendations. Review the CDC Sleep Guidelines, NSF Teen Sleep Facts, and visit Sleep for Kids for more information.
STAPH / MRSA: Guidelines for Schools on Preventing Staph/MRSA Infections Sample Letter to Parents - (for Principals) This letter is also available in Arabic | Bengali | Chinese | Korean | Spanish | Urdu Children Under 12 years Handwashing Poster Adult Handwashing Poster Link to Bureau of Communicable Disease - NYCDOHMH - MRSA STAPH Infection Additional Resources
Directory of Nursing Directors Directory of Borough Nursing Directors and Supervising NursesDirectory of School Health DOHMH Regional Offices Supervising Medical DoctorsHealth Contacts Health Liaisons Resources/Tools for DOE Occupational and Physical Therapists Resources/Tools for Agency Occupational and Physical TherapistsTo visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s School Health Web site, please click here . New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Bureau of Immunization Web Site
Department of Health Publications City Health Information NYC Vital SignsTo visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Web site, please click here .
Forms: for more information, please click here .