Office of School Wellness Programs
Spring Professional Planning Means Focused Instruction in the Fall
May is nearly over, and any student can tell you exactly how few days we have left in the school year. Now is the time for school wellness councils to start planning with administrators and teachers for what physical and health education programming will look like next year. High-quality instruction is the cornerstone of any wellness agenda and grounds schools in providing students with the skills and functional knowledge they need to be strong, healthy, and ready to learn. Robust PE and health education also improve the overall environment of schools to support engagement and learning in all areas. This Chancellor’s Day, June 9, take advantage of exciting professional learning opportunities: The annual School Wellness Works Celebration event will be a great place for your council to pick up ideas for projects that really deliver for kids. Also encourage teachers to preview Citywide physical education professional development in one Brooklyn location. Classroom teachers can attend an open Move-to-Improve training in Manhattan. See details below for all of these offerings.
- Chancellor’s Day PE Professional Development Conference: Join PE teachers, coaches, and physical education leaders Citywide on 6/9 for a full day of professional learning and collaboration at the Prospect Heights education hub in Brooklyn. Register on Eventbrite here and choose from among 70 sessions on a wide range of topics, from activity-specific instructional strategies to how to incorporate health and nutrition lessons into your PE classes. Important instructions:
- To complete your registration, you must follow the Eventbrite prompts and choose your sessions in Sched (separate log-in required).
- All attendees must register using a DOE email address.
- Read complete details on the Eventbrite home page and email email@example.com for assistance.
- Chancellor’s Day Move-to-Improve (MTI) Open Training in Manhattan: Grade K-5 classroom teachers register here for an open MTI session from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on 6/9 on the Upper East Side and see first-hand how this classroom-based activity program can increase student focus, enhance overall academic achievement, and improve classroom behavior. Teachers receive free MTI materials. To learn more, visit our website.
- May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month: Channel all that spring-fever energy into family-friendly fitness activities with tips from the National Institute of Health’s We Can! Initiative. School events can remind families of school and community fitness options and free summer meals at schools, City pools, and other locations.
- Explore New PE Research and Resources: Check out SHAPE America’s 2016 Shape of the Nation report for the latest figures on PE policy nationwide, and build your advocacy for stronger PE in New York City. Your wellness council can use the national standards and four essential components of an effective PE program as a lens to plan for next school year.
- Join NYC DOE Allies at Pride Marches in June: Celebrate our LGBTQ students, families, and staff and support their equality by marching in one of the NYC Pride marches. Register for Brooklyn Pride (6/11), Manhattan Pride (6/26) or Queens Pride (6/5) at the NYC Department of Education’s NYC Schools Pride page. Start times and locations will be announced closer to the march dates.
- Inaugural GSA Summit Highlights: Starting a student-led gender and sexualities alliance (GSA) at your middle or high school is a powerful way to create safe and supportive school environment. The Office of School Wellness Programs hosted the first-ever GSA Summit on 5/6 for our Health Education Focus Schools pilot program, which included an empowering day of discussion and learning leading up to June Pride Month. For information and resources for starting or building a GSA, check out GSA Network.
- May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month: Students can take the interactive National Day Quiz to hone their decision-making skills and access a discussion guide to start conversations with classmates, friends, and parents or guardians. Parents play the most important role in influencing the choices teens make—these talking tips can make the conversation less awkward.
- NEWS: Study Ties School Calendar to Asthma Flare-Ups (HealthDay, 2/8)
- NEWS: Young Transgender Women Face Mental Health Struggles (Harvard School of Public Health)
- NEWS: Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest (NYTimes, 4/16)
Physical Activity and Fitness
- Celebrate Global Running Day on June 1: Share your passion for running and fitness with your students and school community by joining Global Running Day on 6/1 and organizing a group running activity. Click here to join the New York Road Runners Open Run and get toolkits and flyers.
- 18 Activities to Get Students Moving: These hands-on ideas for grade PK-5 students link core academic skills with physical activity options. Similar to the DOE’s Move-To-Improve curriculum, they provide more opportunities to give students some of the 60 minutes of physical activity they need each day to be healthy and ready to learn.
- Mighty Milers 2016-17 Applications Now Open: New York City Road Runners’ Mighty Milers is a school activity that delivers fully on what it promises: a running program for grade PK-8 that welcomes all students regardless of fitness levels or previous experience. The application for the 2016-17 school year is open. Before you take a pass, take a look at their recent Program Impact Report.
- NEWS: Plateau But No Decline: Child Obesity Rates Hold Steady (NPR, 4/26)
- NEWS: Can Exercise Cure Depression and Anxiety? (Washington Post, 5/9)
- School Breakfast Grants Still Available: Action for Healthy Kids has extended its deadline for School Breakfast Grants ($500 – $5,000) to pilot or expand a program. Contact Ellen Dillon, firstname.lastname@example.org, to notify her of your intent to apply.
- FDA Works to Redefine “Healthy” Food: This national effort mirrors what the NYC DOE and your wellness council are doing to rethink how we describe food and begin to change America’s unhealthy eating behaviors that have created the childhood obesity epidemic.
- NEWS: Researchers Have Found a ‘Striking’ New Side Effect From Eating Fast Food (Washington Post, 5/15)
- School Wellness Works Celebration on June 9: Celebrate the work of 2015-2016 School Wellness Council (SWC) grant recipients on Chancellor’s Day, 6/9, as they showcase how their councils strengthened physical and health education programs as cornerstones of school wellness. Schools interested in starting a council in 2016-17 are invited for a day of networking, school presentations, workshops, a recognition ceremony, and a healthy lunch. Space is limited; click here to register by 5/26.
- Help Teacher’s College With School Gardening Survey: The Laura M. Tisch Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College is partnering with The New York Botanical Garden to survey teachers about school gardening with students. Help them collect valuable data to create a strong professional development program by completing the short survey at this link by 5/19.
- 7th Annual School Wellness Poster Contest Winners: See a list of 2016 winners and runners up here and stay tuned for updated images on our poster contest page. Next year, consider using this creative, fun student activity to set a wellness “tone” in your building. Thank you to all our students and teachers who submitted poster designs promoting healthy minds and bodies in schools.
- Open Positions at The Center for Health Equity: The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is recruiting additional staff to work within the Neighborhood Health Action Centers.
- Free Fitness Day Activities and Movie Night in Jamaica, Queens: At free movie night on 5/20, see “The Good Dinosaur at P.O. Edward Byrne Park. Next day, 5/21, head to Baisley Pond Park for NYC Parks’ “Commit to Be Fit” day, with free sports, games, fitness classes, giveaways and more for all ages.
- NEWS: U.S. Panel Reaffirms Depression Screening for Adolescents (Reuters, 2/8)
- NEWS: For the First Time, Scientists Show that Trans Kids With Family Support Can be as Happy as Their Peers (Quartz, 3/10)
- NEWS: How Harnessing the Positive Side of Stress Can Change Student Mindsets (KQED, 2/24)