NYC Department of Education

6- 8 Observation Scorecard—Pilot Year 12/12

Thank you for taking the time to complete the Wellness Works Observational Scorecard. Below please enter the agreed upon score for each question based on the decisions made by your council. Thanks again for your commitment to wellness.
Select the appropriate DBN for your school below.

If you did not locate your DBN# above please include it in the space below.

Please fill out questions to the best of your knowledge in preparation for sharing with your School Wellness Council (SWC). This is a self assessment tool that can identify strengths/weaknesses in school wellness programs and initiatives. There is no passing grade and all scores are meant to build awareness for recommended potential actions for improving wellness in your school.

Please assign an appropriate score next to each question:

3 = Yes or Always in Place     
2 = Sometimes or Partially in Place     
1 = No or Not in Place            
0 = Not Applicable

A.   Physical Education

Physical Education (PE) is an academic subject and is essential to a child’s education as language arts or mathematics. Providing the appropriate amount of comprehensive PE should be a cornerstone of any school wellness action plan. Learning how to live a healthy life is not only a personal endeavor, or something children only discover with peers, families, and communities, but it is also a powerful academic opportunity.
1.  Our students in grades 6-8 participate in PE for a minimum of 90 minutes per week.

a. Our students in grades 6-8 participate inPE in every semester.


b. Our students in grades 6-8 participate in PE at least three times per week in one semester and two times per week in the other semester (3/2).

2.  Our PE class is taught by licensed or certified physical educators at all grade levels.

3. Our PE instruction is based on a written and sequential curriculum that is aligned to State/National standards.

4. Our students are engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 50% of PE class time.

5. Our PE instructional strategies and other practices meet the needs and interests of all students, and are appropriately modified or adapted to promote the participation of all students, in particular students with chronic health conditions and/or special needs.

6. Our school conducts annual NYCFITNESSGRAM assessments and uses the results to make both instructional decisions and individualized physical fitness plans for students that include goal setting.

7. Our  student/teacher ratio provides a safe environment for quality PE instruction.

8. Physical Education is not used or withheld as punishment for students in keeping with our school policies and practices.


B. Fitness and Physical Activity

Within overall educational goals, a school’s focus on health-related fitness empowers students not only to learn how they can take care of themselves, but also to understand why activity and healthy behaviors are critical for success in school and life. Offering a variety of programs before, during, and after the school day reinforces the importance of regular physical activity and helps students find activities they can learn to enjoy now and for a lifetime.  Connecting students to the wide range of community resources and fitness opportunities in New York City can empower students to take ownership of their health and transfer lessons learned in physical education classes to their lives outside of school.

1.      1. Our  school policies and practices support that physical activity is not used orwithheld as punishment for students.

2. Our school provides opportunities for all students to participatein daily physical activity opportunities before and/or after school (e.g.,New YorkRoad Runner’s, Mighty Milers, CHAMPS.)

3. Our school connects students, families, and staff with physical activity opportunities in our school and/or community.

4.  Our school encourages safe active transportation (e.g., walking, biking, riding scooters) to and from school, when appropriate.

C. Health Education

Health education empowers young students to take responsibility for their well-being by developing health skills and cultivating healthy habits. A comprehensive program emphasizes the seven health education skills (self management, relationship management, stress management, communication, decision making, planning and goal setting, advocacy) and covers the full range of topics (sexual health, nutrition & physical activity, tobacco & other drugs, violence & injury prevention, mental and emotional health, changing health behaviors). Especially with regard to sexual health lessons in middle and high school, the sooner students receive the information, the better the opportunity they have to make healthy decisions.
1. Our students ingrades 6-8 receive one semester of comprehensive health education,including sexual health lessons

    a. Health  education is taught by a licensed health education teacher.

    b. Health education is scheduled daily.


    c.  The  health education course is taught in grades 6 or 7.

    d. Our health education teacher uses the NYCDOE recommended curriculum (HealthSmart) or a sequential curriculum that includes sexual health lessons  that are closely aligned with the State or National standards (can be determined by using the HECAT or A Guidance Document for Achieving the New York State Standards in Health Education.)

    2.  All of our students receive the six (grades 6-8) required HIV/AIDS lessons annually using the NYC’s HIV/AIDS Curriculum, 2012Edition.

    3. Health education instructional strategies and other practices meet the diverse needs and interests of all students.

      4. Our health education teachers are familiar with school and community resources and can help students learn how to access, evaluate, and manage health and safety resources.

        D. Food

        In NYC schools, School Food serves nearly 900,000 meals daily, adhering to new federal nutrition standards which limit sodium, fat, and cholesterol while promoting more fruits, vegetables, and fiber. Under the City’s School Wellness Policies, School Food staff ensures compliance with nutritional standards in both dining rooms and vending. However,SWC members can set school level practices and policies that ensure students have access to school meals and various available programs; schools’ food sales and fundraisers adhere to citywide policies; students are involved in nutrition and eating environment campaigns and initiatives for the dining room, classroom, school garden, and community; and teachers, nurses,and other related staff develop ways to tie instruction to what is served in the cafeteria, grown in the garden, or available in the neighborhood.

        1.Our school encourages and has high levels of participation in the free breakfast program, either through traditional line service, breakfast in the classroom, or Grab & Go (especially for middle and high school grades).  

          2. Our school promotes access to lunch,especially for students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, by promoting and collecting school meal applications and sharing School Food information (nutrition standards, menus) with parents and students.

            3. Our food service manager establishes linkages with teachers, nurses, health educators, and other school staff to connect what is being served in the cafeteria with nutrition and health lessons, or with other information provided to students.

              4. Drinking water is accessible throughout the day, free of charge (e.g., working water fountains, water jets, or insulated water coolers).

              5. Our  students have at least 20 minutes to eat school meals.

              6.  Our school has a “no junk food” policy and we work in a variety of ways to enforce it (e.g.,healthy fundraisers, student campaigns, information for parents, work with local shop owners to provide healthy options around the school.)

              7.  Our school engages in marketing of healthy options using posters, table tents, or creative naming of healthy options.

              8.  All beverages and competitive foods served to students for school and classroom parties during the regular and extended school day meet the DOE School Food guidelines.

              1.       9. Our school provides cooking programs as part of nutrition education and/or enrichment activities for students.

              10. Our school has a school garden and/or grows fruits and vegetables at the school.

              E. School Environment

              School environment has a profound effect upon students’ academic achievement and social interactions with peers and adults, as well as attendance. School Wellness Councils can help create a positive school culture that promotes inter-personal and inter-group respect among students and between students and staff. To ensure that all students have a supportive and safe environment in which to grow and thrive academically and socially requires attention to each of the following components of school community: Social Environment, Physical Environment, and BehavioralEnvironment.

              1.Our school has established policies and practices supporting a safe, respectful climate that does not tolerate harassment or bullying (e.g., staff designated Respect for All representative).

              2. Our school communicates to students and parents its clear expectations regarding pro-social behavior and respect within the school community (e.g., reaching beyond the Discipline Code with students and families by using progressive discipline strategies*.)

                3. Our school implements programs and initiatives that promote respect for diversity of all students regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. (e.g., Respect for All campaigns*, health, and safety messages.) 

                  4. Our school has school psychologists, guidance counselors, Substance Abuse Prevention Instruction Specialists (SAPIS), and/or other professionals who address the personal/social growth of our students*.

                    5. Should it be needed, our school is able to link students to comprehensive mental health resources in the community.

                      6. Our school has a building response team, emergency plans, and visitor control procedures. 

                        7. Our school has a crisis intervention team, which works closely with the Network’s Crisis Team when a crisis occurs and an intervention plan including tools and information for staff and the school community*.

                          8. Our school has protocols to support student engagement (e.g., before and after school programs) and address absenteeism.

                            9. Our school provides resources and information to support student engagement (Services in Schools Initiative,service organizations, internship, clubs, and teams) so that all students see themselves as valued members of the school community.

                              10. Our school has a green team, energy conservationprogram,and recycling program in place.

                                F. Staff Wellness/Community Involvement

                                NYC public schools are encouraged to develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to support staff health and wellness – one area in which School Wellness Councils are well suited. Schools can encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and real time opportunities to incorporate these lifestyle changes into the lifestyle of school staff and parents while also enlisting the expertise of community organizations and local leaders, fostering partnerships among schools, families, and neighborhoods. Parent Leaders, families, and community-based organizations (CBOs) can work in partnership to facilitate the creation of a healthy environment in which students can be both socially and academically successful. 

                                1.Our school has an active school wellness council which includes staff, parents, and community members, and it meets at least once a month.

                                2. Our school offers programs to staff that focus on physical activity/fitness,healthy eating/weight management, and/or other wellness related supports.

                                3.  Staff,students, and parents have the opportunity to participate and provide input tothe implementation of wellness programs and activities.

                                4. The school effectively communicates its health, wellness, and safety policies and information to students, staff, and parents (e.g., School Wellness Weekly, student run newsletter).

                                5.  Parents are actively involved in school programs and receive wellness information and opportunities in their preferred language.

                                6. Our school promotes partnerships with community-based programs and opportunities.

                                7.Our school has staff and or systems in place to bring in additional funds (e.g., healthy fundraising ) or leverage resources to support wellness priorities for students, parents, and staff.

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