District Wellness Council

Boston Public Schools (BPS) aims to actively promote the health and wellness of all students to advance both their healthy development and readiness to learn.  It is essential that we focus on student wellness, because we know that healthy students learn better.  In order to continue to promote the health and wellness of our students as well as to reduce the inequitable risks for illness and chronic disease many students experience, BPS has had a District Council to address student health and wellness since 2004.  It was established to identify best practices and create policies that to create healthy school environments equitably across the district.  To continue and expand this important work, we began a Superintendent-appointed District Wellness Council during the fall, 2012.

The District Wellness Council is comprised of BPS department representatives and community partners. View the 2015-16 District Wellness Council Membership List.

District Wellness Council recommends, reviews, and advises on the implementation of school district policies that address student wellness. BPS takes a comprehensive approach to reviewing and incorporating changes in policy, curriculum, and operating procedures to promote healthy lifestyles and sustainable wellness practices for all students and staff. District Wellness Council members will be required to attend four open meetings during the school year. These meetings are open to the public.

District Wellness Council 2015-2016 Meeting Dates:

Thursday, September 24th, 3-5 pm, Boston Latin Academy  | September 2016 Agenda, MinutesSlides
Thursday, January 28th, 3-5 pm, Bolling Building School Committee Room AgendaMinutesSlides
Thursday, March 31st, 3-5 pm, Office of Engagement Title 1 Training Center located at the ground floor of Boston Latin Academy
Thursday, June 16th, 3-5 pm, Bolling Building School Committee Room

View the 2015-2016 District Wellness Council Action Plan that is created annually.

The District Wellness Council has formed workgroups of BPS community members and staff to focus the work of the council. These groups include:

  • Cultural Proficiency workgroup- provides guidance to increase cultural proficiency of all aspects of District Wellness Council activities, including policy language, implementation, and evaluation.
  • School Food and Nutrition Promotion workgroup- provides guidance regarding nutrition in school food for BPS students.
  • Comprehensive Physical Activity and Physical Education workgroup- provides guidance regarding a comprehensive physical activity program for BPS students.
  • Comprehensive Health Education workgroup- provides guidance regarding comprehensive health education for BPS students.
  • Healthy School Environment workgroup- provides guidance regarding components of the physical environment that affect student health
  • Health Services workgroup- provides guidance for intervention-based health services for BPS students.
  • Safe and Supportive Schools workgroup- provides direction for a positive social and emotional environment for students.

To find more about our Wellness Policy, click here: Wellness Policy

Wellness councils annually complete a Healthy Schools Program Inventory through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to assess their needs and inform their annual planning. This Healthy Schools Program Inventory follows the Healthy Schools Program Framework, which outlines key strategies to improve the school health environment, by content area. Strategies are delineated by levels of bronze, silver, and gold. See Figure 1 for an overview of the Boston Public School Districts Healthy Schools Program Level by content area.

Schools use the results from the Healthy Schools Program Inventory to create a Wellness Action Plan as a part of their Whole School Improvement Plan.  The Health and Wellness Department assesses and connects schools to community resources to assist in the implementation of each schools Action Plan. Learn more by downloading the School Wellness Council Toolkit.

Wellness Action Plans
Using the Healthy Schools Program Inventory, schools create and implement a Wellness Action Plan annually. Schools complete this plan as a part of their Whole School Improvement Plan. The steps chosen by each school are based on best practices, by content area, that are outlined by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This year, the District required schools to prioritize action planning steps that include physical education/physical activity, competitive foods, and health education. Please refer to the “Sample Action Plan” for more information regarding Wellness Action Plans.

Healthy Connections Wellness Action Plan Assessment Profile
The BPS Health and Wellness Department provides annual support to school wellness councils through the Wellness Action Plan Assessment Profile. The feedback is provided to better enable wellness councils to enhance the school wellness environment, and hence the well-being of the student body. It provides direct comments on the action plans, makes recommendations for accessing resources in the community, and provides contact information of community partners. Please refer to the “Sample Profile” for more information. Find additional information in the WAP Instructions and Template.