School Wellness ChecklistĀ©


The MUSC Boeing Center for Children's Wellness (BCCW) incentivizes individual schools to make policy and environmental changes around nutrition and physical activity to combat the childhood obesity epidemic. The BCCW developed a simple, online tool, the School Wellness Checklist© (SWC) that schools use as a guide to gradually adopt a culture of wellness. The SWC was first implemented in 2010 and is now being used by over 200 schools in 15 South Carolina school districts and 1 area in Pennsylvania. The SWC is made up of evidence-based strategies and policies recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Institute of Medicine to impact the health of the school environment and reduce childhood obesity over time. These practices are grouped into  categories and itemized and assigned point values leading to a year end score. Schools choose which items to implement on the SWC. The SWC  allows individual schools to track wellness changes with real time data entry.  The SWC can be used as part of an overall school-based wellness initiative or as a stand-alone wellness tool to measure improvements made to the school environment. The SWC is available for elementary and secondary education levels and is both tablet- and smartphone-friendly.

The SWC is a user-friendly tool that visually prompts schools to complete items in all categories and shows the school’s progress throughout the school year. The SWC has 7 categories: Getting Started, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Stress Management, Establishing a Wellness Culture, Employee Connections, and Sustainability. An optional bonus section is included to capture changes schools make that do not fit into the above categories. As seen on the sample above, badges appear next to several categories as categories are opened or points entered. Green badges appear when a user has logged points in that category, and red badges appear when points have not been entered. An absence of a badge indicates users have not opened that category. Individual category score totals are also located inside the badges.  Overall total SWC points achieved are automatically updated at the top of each page. School wellness committees check off items during the school year. Schools have the ability to describe and/or upload files or images to verify their checked items throughout the online tool.

Overview: The mission of the MUSC Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness (BCCW) is to reduce childhood obesity in South Carolina by creating healthier school environments through innovative wellness initiatives. The BCCW Docs Adopt School Health Initiative© includes two components; SWC and Docs Adopt©, where physicians serve as a wellness resource for schools. Schools form wellness committees and use the School Wellness Checklist tool as a guide to improve the environment and make policy changes to make it easier for both students and staff to make healthy choices.

For those school districts participating in the BCCW Docs Adopt School Health Initiative, schools participate in a district-wide School Wellness Checklist Contest in which schools compete with other  schools in their district. Schools choose from the SWC menu of effective strategies including planting a school garden, holding school-wide exercise breaks, offering healthy fundraisers, and implementing healthy snack policies. Items on the SWC are assigned point values. Schools that achieve a threshold of points on the SWC earn $1000 that must be used to improve physical activity and nutrition at the school as part of the following year's school wellness initiative. The school that earns the top points in each district receives an additional $2000 as the grand-prize winner.  All schools are recognized at the Wellness Achievement Celebration at the end of the school year. Schools readily join the initiative, stay with it, and improve yearly.

Applications: Wellness checklist for elementary and secondary schools

Key Words: Wellness checklist, childhood obesity, elementary, secondary, school

Inventors: Jennifer Byrne, Coleen Martin

Patent Status: Copyright

MUSC-FRD Technology ID: P1447

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Kaitlyn Crobar
Technology Transfer Associate
MUSC Foundation for Research Development
Jennifer Byrne
Coleen Martin
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