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School Wellness Weekly

September 25, 2020

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More Essentials for Transitioning Back to School
“We need to be talking about infectious disease, stress, trauma, racism. That’s what health teachers do. And I can’t wait to do it again.”

—Amy Dawson, NYC DOE Health Education instructional coach and teacher

Physical Education and Health Education, supported by School Wellness Council members, are essential to promoting safe, healthy, and active students and school communities—especially now as students continue to need physically, socially, and mentally supportive spaces to cope with the effects of the pandemic and ongoing racial injustice. Our educators are continuing to embrace this unique school year and meet our students where they need the most support—in the classroom. Read more about Amy Dawson, an instructional coach with the Office of School Wellness Programs, now health education teacher for a year, in this recent Gothamist article (opens in new window).

In this issue, we continue our commitment to these core academic subjects—and to school-level Wellness Councils—by highlighting the latest updates on:

  • our annual School Wellness Council Grant application
  • access to the DOE’s TeachHub
  • online opportunities, including our popular Physical Education Online Professional Learning Communities starting October 5
  • resources and events from our trusted partners, and more 

Continue to browse our 2020-2021 Professional Learning Catalog (opens in new window) often for additional opportunities, as we continue to make updates during the transition back to school. 
Photo credit: Thomas de LUZE, Unsplash.
Wellness Highlights
Update: School Wellness Council Grant Application Coming in Mid-October
As in previous years, in 2020-2021 the School Wellness Council Grant application will be open to all NYC DOE public schools. Strong School Wellness Councils can sustain school-based wellness efforts, promote connectedness, and help coordinate the instruction, services and programs that students need to be able to heal and learn as we continue to address the COVID-19 crisis. 

Schools use grant funds to help create councils and to sustain them in building community, advocating for quality Health Education and Physical Education and physical activity, and offering wellness programs, including establishing outdoor learning and other outdoor programming.

The application will open mid-October. This year: 

  • Schools that have never received our funding may apply for $2,500 to establish and maintain a council.  
  • Schools that have received funds once previously may apply for $1,000; schools that have received funds twice or more previously may apply for $500.  

Continue to read upcoming issues of School Wellness Weekly for the official launch of the application. DOE staff: log in to the Wellness Council Manager on the Wellness Hub (opens in new window) closer to the launch to view the application instructions and rubric.

K-12 Teachers: Updated PE and Health Education Online Resource Libraries
Save time planning! To help you create robust PE and Health Education programming for your students during in-person learning, blended learning, or remote learning, browse the new PE and Health Education folders in TeachHub to access health and safety lessons to start the year. Check back often for newly added information, including Google Slides, remote lesson plans, and teacher-facing and student-facing materials unique to NYC. Folders also include updated:

  • PE Grades K-12 Online Resource Library
  • Health Education Grades K-12 Online Resource Library 

Both libraries have the latest material and activities from the Office of School Wellness Programs and trusted partners. To access the libraries:

  1. Log in to the DOE's TeachHub (opens in new window) using your DOE credentials.
  2. Select the K-12, Elementary School, Middle School, or High School tabs along the top banner.
  3. Select the Health Education or Physical Education tiles under the "DOE Resources" section.
  4. You will be taken to Google Drive. All DOE users have access to these files. You must log out of your personal or school Gmail account and log in again with your DOE credentials to gain access.
  5. Open or download the Health Education Grades K-12 Online Resource Library file or the PE Grades K-12 Online Resource Library file.

Blended and Remote Learning Updates: DOE's TeachHub Now for Students and Teachers
The DOE’s TeachHub is no longer just for DOE teachers and staff. New for the 2020-2021 school year, the TeachHub now supports both students and teachers by providing quick links to essential applications for remote learning. 

  • Students: Sign in with their DOE Student Account (person@nycstudents.net). 
  • Teachers: Continue to log in using their DOE credentials (note: make sure to download files and materials to be shared directly with students).

Share the DOE Student Accounts page (opens in new window) on the DOE website with families and caregivers for more information on student accounts and accessing the TeachHub. DOE staff should visit the Teach from Home Technology page (opens in new window) on the InfoHub for the latest updates and support during blended and remote learning.
Physical Education
This is an image of a laptop with a virtual meeting on the screen. There is a mug next to the laptop.
PE Online Professional Learning Communities (PE OPLCs) Are Back!
Whether teaching in person or fully remote, you can still connect with your Physical Education colleagues Citywide. PE OPLCs will launch the week of October 5. Visit the Professional Learning Catalog (opens in new window) for upcoming dates and registration links. Joining a PE OPLC provides a forum for PE teachers to learn from each other by sharing best practices, problems of practice, and feedback on resources for PE instruction and engaging students and families during in-person learning, blended learning, or remote learning. PE OPLC sessions will take place on Microsoft Teams. Register for a PE OPLC today!

Photo credit: Chris Montgomery, Unsplash.
Health Education
K-12 School Staff Professional Learning Opportunity: Free OUT for Safe (Remote) Schools® Webinar on Wednesday, October 7 
OUT for Safe Schools® is a national initiative that helps educators, administrators, and other school district employees "come out" as visible allies for LGBTQ students. Log in to the Wellness Hub to register (opens in new window) for the OUT for Safe (Remote) Schools® Webinar to learn how to be a "remote upstander" and recommend affirming and age-appropriate online resources to your students. The online session will take place on Microsoft Teams. Visit the Health Education section of our Professional Learning Catalog (opens in new window) and select your grade-band area for more information.
Building the Wellness Community
K-12 Staff: Register for Gender Inclusion and Support Training
Learn how to implement the updated Guidelines on Gender and Guidelines to Support Transgender and Gender Expansive Students (opens in new window), and share with other school staff by joining a two-hour training session on gender inclusion and support. This training will address inclusive terminology, intersectional best practices, and educational strategies to build a more equitable school environment. Attendees will also be able to turnkey the training to other school-based staff and will earn continuing teacher and leader education (CTLE) credits. Registration (opens in new window, requires DOE login) is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Zoom sessions take place on:

  • Wednesday, September 30: From 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.  
  • Tuesday, October 20: From 9:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.  
  • Thursday, October 22: From 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. 

Questions? Email Kimberly Shannon, kshannon@schools.nyc.gov (opens in email window).

Share with Young Adults and School Communities: Survey on NYC’s Approach to Ending the HIV Epidemic 
The New York City Health Department is asking for feedback on New York City’s approach to Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE): A Plan for America via a brief survey. Encourage youth and young adults ages 13-29 to participate by Wednesday, September 30, 2020 via the links below. The survey should take 15-20 minutes to complete and is available in English and Spanish. In February 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced EHE: A Plan for America, which aims to reduce new HIV infections by 75% in five years, and by 90% in ten years. 


Questions or need additional information? Email HIVstatusneutral@health.nyc.gov (opens in email window).

Share with Students, Families and Caregivers: Sport for Good Day
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the nonprofit Laureus USA (opens in new window) are hosting a virtual event, “Sport for Good Day” on Saturday, October 3. Youth, families, caregivers, sports-based development programs, and sport teams will come together to get active and celebrate the power of movement, all while practicing physical distancing. The event’s Instagram Live feed will feature local programs, athletes, and workouts you can do from home. Participation is easy:


Middle and High School Teachers: Climate in the Classroom 
Join the NYC DOE Office of Sustainability on Wednesday, September 30 at 3:00 p.m. as they kick-off Climate Week 2020 with a one-hour Climate Change Education professional learning opportunity. Participants learn how the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relate to current events and how to connect them to STEM, sustainability, and the classroom. Register (opens in new window) by Monday, September 28. 

For K-12 Students: NYC HeARTwork Against Hate Contest
Students can take a stand against all forms of bias, discrimination, and hate by submitting artwork for the NYC HeARTwork Against Hate contest by Wednesday, September 30. The contest, launched by the NYC Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, gives young New Yorkers an opportunity and platform to use artistic expression as an outlet for sharing their feelings and emotions during a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and ongoing systemic racism. Encourage youth to use their creativity to communicate the positive values that make NYC great. Eligible participants can win cash prizes:

  • First Place: $500
  • Second Place: $250
  • Third Place: $100
  • Honorable Mentions (3): $50