School Wellness Checklist©

The School Wellness Checklist© (SWC) is an implementation tool that provides schools participating in the MUSC BCCW School-Based Wellness Initiative with evidence-based strategies and resources to assist them in making the policy, systems, and environmental changes required to build and sustain a culture of wellness.

The SWC© offers a variety of evidence-based strategies in seven categories that schools can choose from to best meet the needs of their students and staff. In order for participating schools to earn a Wellness Award, they must implement at least one item from each category. By implementing a variety of strategies, wellness is incorporated into all areas of a school, helping to create a culture of wellness.

For School Wellness Checklist© Resources, please visit the School Wellness Checklist© resources page.

Getting Started

Getting Started targets the areas of need within a school community. These needs drive the selection and implementation of strategies and activities from the other categories of the SWC. Getting Started focuses on establishing a school wellness committee that will coordinate the implementation of all aspects of wellness to benefit the school community.

  • Establish or continue an active wellness committee
  • Create a health plan for your school

For resources on how to earn points in this category, please visit the Getting Started resources page.


The school nutrition environment provides students with opportunities to learn about and practice healthy eating. These opportunities provide students with the knowledge and skills to make healthy food and beverage choices both in and out of school. Healthy eating is not only important for health and wellness, but has also been linked to improved academic and behavioral outcomes, helping students both succeed in school and thrive in life.

  • Post nutrition facts for cafeteria menu items
  • Start or maintain a food-based garden project

For resources on how to earn points in this category, please visit the Nutrition resources page.

Physical Activity

It is recommended that students participate in 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day. Schools can create an environment that offers students many opportunities to be physically active during the school day. By offering physical activity throughout the school day, students can have improved concentration, memory, and behavior.

  • Incorporate Action Based Learning in the classroom
  • Adopt and promote open community use

For resources on how to earn points in this category, please visit the Physical Activity resources page.

Social-Emotional Learning

A positive social and emotional school climate is conducive to effective teaching and learning. Such climates promote health, growth, and development by providing a safe and supportive learning environment. The social and emotional climate of a school can impact student engagement in school activities, relationships with other students, staff, family, and community; and enhances students’ ability to succeed in school and thrive in life.

  • Implement evidence-based SEL programs for students
  • Create and display shared classroom agreements

For resources on how to earn points in this category, please visit the Social-Emotional Learning resources page.

Wellness Culture

By creating a culture of wellness, a school continuously encourages and promotes health and wellbeing for students, staff, and families. Schools achieve this culture of wellness when wellness is incorporated into the school's day-to-day activities and viewed as the norm. By developing school-wide policies to address wellness, it becomes embedded in the school culture and contributes to the development and reinforcement of healthy habits to create lasting change.

  • Offer non-food or healthy food fundraisers
  • Create and support a student-led wellness committee

For resources on how to earn points in this category, please visit the Wellness Culture resources page.

Staff Wellness

Staff Wellness is an essential component of creating a culture of wellness within the school. Fostering a school environment that values and supports its staff’s physical and social-emotional wellbeing allows school staff to perform at their best. Healthy staff are more productive, less likely to be absent, and serve as positive role models for students. Supporting a healthy environment for staff, in turn, helps to support students’ health, wellbeing, and academic success.

  • Offer staff health screenings
  • Implement an incentive program for healthy choices

For resources on how to earn points in this category, please visit the Staff Wellness resources page.


The school’s wellness initiatives must be supported through community partnerships and grant funding to provide financial resources and donated goods and services. This support helps the culture of wellness become sustainable, allowing for growth year after year. The engagement of community partners and grant funders reinforces the work of school wellness committees outside the school environment, by bringing awareness to the impact a culture of wellness can have on the community as a whole.

  • Apply for and receive a wellness-related grant
  • Cultivate a wellness-related community partnership

For resources on how to earn points in this category, please visit the Sustainability resource page.