School-based Wellness Initiative

The MUSC BCCW School-based Wellness Initiative works to create a culture of wellness by providing direct support and motivation for K-12 schools and districts as they implement evidence-based wellness strategies. This Initiative is not one specific program, but rather, a customizable model that supports a school in the selection and implementation of best practices and policies that best meet the needs of a school’s students and staff.  

The Initiative is designed to engage the entire school community in creating a healthy learning environment through three main components:

1. Custom Implementation tool (School Wellness Checklist©)

2. MUSC Program Coordinator

3. Active School Wellness Committee

Our implementation tool, the School Wellness Checklist© (SWC), was developed to assist schools in selecting evidence-based strategies tailored to the resources and needs of an individual school. The SWC includes seven categories: Getting Started, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Social Emotional Wellness, Wellness Culture, Staff Wellness, and Sustainability.  Each category includes policy, environment, and behavior change strategies that are based on best practices for student and staff wellness. The SWC serves as a scoreboard for interschool competition, as schools accrue points for implementation of wellness strategies throughout the school year. It also serves as a data collection tool to monitor wellness changes being made in schools.

MUSC Program Coordinators provide ongoing support, training, and technical assistance to districts and schools by guiding them through the selection and implementation of wellness strategies. Coordinators also build relationships with community partners to assist schools in better alignment of community wellness efforts and sustainability efforts.

The creation or maintenance of a functioning school wellness committee is also required for participation in this Initiative. Committees are encouraged to begin each school year with a needs assessment to define their goals and inform their selection of SWC strategies. The committees document each item on the SWC they implement, and in return, they receive ongoing support and technical assistance from a designated MUSC Program Coordinator and a monetary wellness award at the end of the school year to use for future wellness projects.