Research shows that two components, good nutrition and physical activity before, during and after the school day, are strongly correlated with positive student outcomes. For example, student participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) School Breakfast Program is associated with higher grades and standardized test scores, lower absenteeism and better performance on cognitive tasks. Conversely, less-than-adequate consumption of specific foods including fruits, vegetables and dairy products, is associated with lower grades among students. In addition, students who are physically active through active transport to and from school, recess, physical activity breaks, high-quality physical education and extracurricular activities do better academically. Finally, there is evidence that adequate hydration is associated with better cognitive performance.
This regulation outlines the District’s approach to ensuring environments and opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions. Specifically, this policy establishes goals and procedures to ensure that:
This policy applies to all District students, staff and schools. Specific measureable goals and outcomes are identified within each section below.
I. School Wellness Committee
A district-wide Wellness Committee (“Committee”) will be established and will meet at least (4) four times per year. Any existing School Health Advisory Council will serve as the nucleus for the Committee. The Committee will include members from all school levels as specified by law. Responsibility of the Committee may include, but not be limited to, oversight of the following:
The Committee will be responsible for, among other duties, preparing a report at a minimum that includes the following information:
Committee membership may include, but not be limited to, parents, caregivers, students, members of the school retention program, physical education, teachers, health education teachers, school health professionals, counselors, social workers, psychiatrists, school administrators, board members health professionals and District citizens.
The Superintendent and/or designee(s) will convene the Committee and facilitate development of and updates to the wellness policy, and will ensure each school’s compliance with the policy.
The designated official for oversight is the Superintendent and/or designee(s).
The name(s), title(s), and contact information (email address is sufficient) of this/these individual(s) is(are):
|Name||Title / Relationship to the School or District||Email address||Role on Committee|
Each school will designate a school wellness policy coordinator, who will ensure compliance with the policy.
III. Wellness Policy Implementation, Monitoring, Accountability and Community Engagement
The District will develop and maintain a plan for implementation to manage and coordinate the execution of this wellness policy. The plan delineates roles, responsibilities, actions and timelines specific to each school; and includes information about who will be responsible to make what change, by how much, where and when; as well as specific goals and objectives for nutrition standards for all foods and beverages available on the school campus, food and beverage marketing, nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, physical education and other school-based activities that promote student wellness. The District will consider the Healthy Schools Program online tools to complete a school-level assessment based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s School Health Index, create an action plan that fosters implementation and generate an annual progress report.
This wellness policy and the progress reports can be found on the District’s Website.
The District will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the wellness policy at the District’s Administrative Offices. Documentation maintained in this location will include, but will not be limited to:
The District will actively inform families and the public each year of basic information about this policy, including its content, any updates to the policy and implementation status. The District will make this information available via the district website and/or district-wide communications. The District will provide information about the school nutrition environment. This will include a summary of the District’s events or activities related to wellness policy implementation. Annually, the District will also publicize the name and contact information of the District officials leading and coordinating the committee, as well as information on how the public can get involved with the school wellness committee.
At least once every three years, the District will evaluate compliance with the wellness policy to assess the implementation of the policy and include:
The position/person responsible for managing the triennial assessment and contact information is the District’s Superintendent/designee.
The Committee, in collaboration with individual schools, will monitor schools’ compliance with this wellness policy.
The District will notify households/families of the availability of the triennial progress report.
The Committee will update or modify the wellness policy based on the results of the annual School Health Index and triennial assessments and/or as District priorities change; community needs change; wellness goals are met; new health science, information, and technology emerges; and new Federal or state guidance or standards are issued. The wellness policy will be assessed and updated as indicated at least every three years, following the triennial assessment.
The District is committed to being responsive to community input, which begins with awareness of the wellness policy. The District will actively communicate ways in which representatives of the Committee and others can participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of the wellness policy through a variety of means appropriate for the District. The District will also inform parents of the improvements that have been made to school meals and compliance with school meal standards, availability of child nutrition programs and how to apply, and a description of and compliance with Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. The District will use electronic mechanisms, such as email or displaying notices on the district’s website, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, presentations to parents, or sending information home to parents, to ensure that all families are actively notified of the content of, implementation of, and updates to the wellness policy, as well as how to get involved and support the policy. The District will utilize that communications are culturally and linguistically appropriate to the community, and accomplished through means similar to other ways that the district and individual schools are communicating important school information with parents.
The District will notify the public about the content of or any updates to the wellness policy annually. The District will also use these mechanisms to inform the community about the availability of the annual and triennial reports.
The District is committed to serving healthy meals to children, with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk; that are moderate in sodium, low in saturated fat, and have zero grams trans fat per serving (nutrition label or manufacturer’s specification); and to reasonably meeting the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. The school meal programs aim to improve the diet and health of school children, help mitigate childhood obesity, model healthy eating to support the development of lifelong healthy eating patterns and support healthy choices while accommodating cultural food preferences and special dietary needs.
District schools are committed to offering school meals through the NSLP and SBP programs, and other applicable Federal child nutrition programs, that:
All school nutrition program directors, managers and staff will meet hiring and annual continuing education/training requirements in the USDA Professional Standards for Child Nutrition Professionals. These school nutrition personnel will refer to USDA’s Professional Standards for School Nutrition Standards website to search for training that meets their learning needs.
To promote hydration, free, safe, unflavored drinking water will be available to all students throughout the school day and throughout every school campus. The District will make drinking water available where school meals are served during mealtimes.
The District is committed to providing foods and beverages to students on the school campus during the school day support healthy eating. The foods and beverages sold and served outside of the school meal programs (e.g., “competitive” foods and beverages) will meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, at a minimum. Smart Snacks aim to improve student health and well-being, increase consumption of healthful foods during the school day and create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits. A summary of the standards and information, as well as a Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools are available at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday/tools-schools-smart-snacks.
To support healthy food choices and improve student health and well-being, all foods and beverages outside the reimbursable school meal programs that are sold to students on the school campus during the school day will meet the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition standards. These standards will apply in all locations and through all services where foods and beverages are sold, which may include, but are not limited to, à la carte options in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores and snack or food carts.
All foods offered on the school campus will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, including through:
Foods and beverages that meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards may be sold through fundraisers on the school campus during the school day. The District will make available to parents and teachers a list of healthy fundraising ideas [examples from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the USDA].
Nutrition promotion and education positively influence lifelong eating behaviors by using evidence-based techniques and nutrition messages, and by creating food environments that encourage healthy nutrition choices and encourage participation in school meal programs. Students and staff will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout schools, classrooms, gymnasiums, and cafeterias. Nutrition promotion also includes marketing and advertising nutritious foods and beverages to students and is most effective when implemented consistently through a comprehensive and multi-channel approach by school staff, teachers, parents, students and the community.
The District will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school campus, as well as encourage participation in school meal programs. This promotion will occur through at least:
The District will teach, model, encourage and support healthy eating by all students. Schools will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 of the following essential topics on healthy eating:
The District is committed to providing a school environment that provides opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions. The District strives to teach students how to make informed choices about nutrition, health and physical activity. It is the intent of the District to protect and promote student’s health by permitting advertising and marketing for only those foods and beverages that are permitted to be sold on the school campus, consistent with the District’s wellness policy.
Any foods and beverages marketed or promoted to students on the school campus during the school day will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
Food and beverage marketing is defined as advertising and other promotions in schools. Food and beverage marketing often includes an oral, written, or graphic statements made for the purpose of promoting the sale of a food or beverage product made by the producer, manufacturer, seller or any other entity with a commercial interest in the product. This term includes, but is not limited to the following:
As the District/school nutrition services/Athletics Department/PTA/PTO reviews existing contracts and considers new contracts, equipment and product purchasing (and replacement) decisions should reflect the applicable marketing guidelines established by the District wellness policy.
V. Physical Activity
Children and adolescents should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. A substantial percentage of students’ physical activity can be provided through a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP). A CSPAP reflects strong coordination and synergy across all of the components: quality physical education as the foundation; physical activity before, during and after school; staff involvement and family and community engagement and the district is committed to providing these opportunities. Schools will provide that these varied physical activity opportunities are in addition to, and not as a substitute for, physical education (addressed in “Physical Education” subsection). All schools in the district will be encouraged to participate in Let’s Move! Active Schools (www.letsmoveschools.org) in order to successfully address all CSPAP areas.
Physical activity during the school day (including but not limited to recess, classroom physical activity breaks or physical education) will not be withheld as punishment for any reason. The district will provide teachers and other school staff with a list of ideas for alternative ways to discipline students.
To the extent practicable, the District will ensure that its grounds and facilities are safe and that equipment is available to students to be active. The District will conduct necessary inspections and repairs.
The District will provide students with physical education, using an age-appropriate, sequential physical education curriculum consistent with national and state standards for physical education. The physical education curriculum will promote the benefits of a physically active lifestyle and will help students develop skills to engage in lifelong healthy habits, as well as incorporate essential health education concepts (discussed in the “Essential Physical Activity Topics in Health Education” subsection). The curriculum will support the essential components of physical education.
All students will be provided equal opportunity to participate in physical education classes. The District will make appropriate accommodations to allow for equitable participation for all students and will adapt physical education classes and equipment as necessary.
All secondary students are required to take the equivalent of one academic year of physical education.
The District physical education program will promote student physical fitness through individualized fitness and activity assessments (via the Presidential Youth Fitness Program or other appropriate assessment tool) and will use criterion-based reporting for each student.
Health education will be required in all elementary grades and the district will require middle and high school students to take and pass at least one health education course. The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 the following essential topics on physical activity:
All elementary schools will offer at least 20 minutes of recess on all days during the school year. If recess is offered before lunch, schools will have appropriate hand-washing facilities and/or hand-sanitizing mechanisms located just inside/outside the cafeteria to ensure proper hygiene prior to eating and students are required to use these mechanisms before eating. Hand-washing time, as well as time to put away coats/hats/gloves, will be built in to the recess transition period/timeframe before students enter the cafeteria.
Outdoor recess will be offered when weather is feasible for outdoor play.
In the event that the school or district must conduct indoor recess, teachers and staff will follow the indoor recess guidelines that promote physical activity for students, to the extent practicable.
Recess will complement, not substitute, physical education class. Recess monitors or teachers will encourage students to be active, and will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible.
The District recognizes that students are more attentive and ready to learn if provided with periodic breaks when they can be physically active or stretch. Thus, students will be offered periodic opportunities to be active or to stretch throughout the day on all or most days during a typical school week. The District recommends teachers provide short (3-5-minute) physical activity breaks to students during and between classroom times at least three days per week. These physical activity breaks will complement, not substitute, for physical education class, recess, and class transition periods.
The District will provide resources and links to resources, tools, and technology with ideas for classroom physical activity breaks. Resources and ideas are available through USDA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Teachers will incorporate movement and kinesthetic learning approaches into “core” subject instruction when possible (e.g., science, math, language arts, social studies and others) and do their part to limit sedentary behavior during the school day.
The District will support classroom teachers incorporating physical activity and employing kinesthetic learning approaches into core subjects by providing annual professional development opportunities and resources, including information on leading activities, activity options, as well as making available background material on the connections between learning and movement.
Teachers will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible.
The District offers opportunities for students to participate in physical activity either before and/or after the school day (or both) through a variety of methods. The District will encourage students to be physically active before and after school by: [District should choose appropriate and reasonable options such as physical activity clubs, physical activity in aftercare, intramurals or interscholastic sports].
The District will support active transport to and from school, such as walking or biking. The District will encourage this behavior by engaging in six or more of the activities below; including but not limited to:
VI. Other Activities that Promote Student Wellness
The District will integrate wellness activities across the entire school setting, not just in the cafeteria, other food and beverage venues and physical activity facilities. The District will coordinate and integrate other initiatives related to physical activity, physical education, nutrition and other wellness components so all efforts are complementary, not duplicative, and work towards the same set of goals and objectives promoting student well-being, optimal development and strong educational outcomes.
District schools are encouraged to coordinate content across curricular areas that promote student health, such as teaching nutrition concepts in mathematics, with consultation provided by either the school or the District’s curriculum directors.
All efforts related to obtaining federal, state or association recognition for efforts, or grants/funding opportunities for healthy school environments will be coordinated with and complementary of the wellness policy, including but not limited to ensuring the involvement of the Committee.
All school-sponsored events will adhere to the wellness policy guidelines. All school-sponsored wellness events will include physical activity and healthy eating opportunities when appropriate.
The District will utilize where feasible relationships with community partners (e.g., hospitals, universities/colleges, local businesses, SNAP-Ed providers and coordinators, etc.) in support of this wellness policy’s implementation. Existing and new community partnerships and sponsorships will be evaluated to ensure that they are consistent with the wellness policy and its goals.
The District will promote to parents/caregivers, families, and the general community the benefits of and approaches for healthy eating and physical activity throughout the school year. Families will be informed and invited to participate in school-sponsored activities and will receive information about health promotion efforts.
As described in the “Community Involvement, Outreach, and Communications” subsection, the District will use electronic mechanisms (e.g., email or displaying notices on the district’s website), as well as non-electronic mechanisms, (e.g., newsletters, presentations to parents or sending information home to parents), to ensure that families are actively notified of opportunities to participate in school-sponsored activities and receive information about health promotion efforts.
The Committee will have a staff wellness subcommittee that focuses on staff wellness issues, identifies and disseminates wellness resources and performs other functions that support staff wellness in coordination with human resources staff which will be coordinated by the District’s HR Director.
District schools will implement strategies to support staff in actively promoting and modeling healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. The District promotes staff member participation in health promotion programs and will support programs for staff members on healthy eating/weight management that are accessible and free or low-cost.
When feasible, the District will offer annual professional learning opportunities and resources for staff to increase knowledge and skills about promoting healthy behaviors in the classroom and school (e.g., increasing the use of kinesthetic teaching approaches or incorporating nutrition lessons into math class). Professional learning will help District staff understand the connections between academics and health and the ways in which health and wellness are integrated into ongoing district reform or academic improvement plans/efforts.