School Wellness Councils

What is a School Wellness Council?

A School Wellness Council is a group of parents, students, school staff, and community members who work together and with the school administration to promote a healthy school community. The DOE Wellness Policy encourages all schools to have a School Wellness Council. If you are part of a School Wellness Council, you will attend regular meetings at your school and help with:

  • Making sure the school provides high-quality physical education and health education
  • Making sure the school is following the DOE Wellness Policy
  • Starting physical activity clubs and organizing fitness events
  • Creating healthy snack policies and encouraging your school to follow them
  • School gardens
  • Promoting the importance of healthy food
  • Promoting inclusivity and diversity

School Wellness Councils can help schools and students stay healthy and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. A wellness council can 

  • Help connect people in the school community
  • Encourage the school to teach lessons about health and safety, like how to wash your hands and wear a face mask properly
  • Promote activities that help students and families recover from trauma 

New for 2021-2022 

This year, schools will not apply for the School Wellness Council competitive grant program. Instead, the DOE will provide funding to a selected group of high-need schools that agree to partner with us. We will work with those schools to create successful School Wellness Councils that can support their school communities year after year. Our goal is to give high-need schools in neighborhoods most impacted by COVID-19 the resources they need to help students, staff, families, and caretakers to be healthy.

DOE Wellness Policy

Read the full Department of Education Wellness Policy.

School Wellness Weekly

Sign up for School Wellness Weekly to get information about school-wellness-related grants, programs, tips, and news. The Office of School Wellness Programs publishes this e-newsletter twice a month during the school year.

Join a School Wellness Council

Schools need diverse parent voices in order to understand what the school community needs and to decide what programs and policies will help keep their community healthy. If you want to join a School Wellness Council:

  1. Ask your parent coordinator if your school already has a wellness council. If so, contact the council leader to find out how to get involved.
  2. If your school does not have a wellness council, speak to your principal or the parent coordinator and let them know you are interested in starting one.
  3. For help, email the support team for your borough, listed below. Staff from the DOE Office of School Wellness Programs can reach out to your school to help them start a council .
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