First Reading: 6/12/06
The District is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being, and the ability to learn by fostering healthy eating and physical activity. The District has established a wellness committee to develop the District’s proposed local wellness policy, making such policy recommendations for review and adoption by the Board of Education. The District’s wellness committee includes, but is not limited to, representatives from each of the following groups:
- The District’s food service program
- The School Board
- School administrator
- Members of the public
- School Health personnel
The District Wellness Committee will assess current activities, programs and policies available in the District; identify specific areas of need within the District; develop the policy; and provide mechanisms for implementation, evaluation, revision and updating of the policy. The Wellness Committee is established to represent the local community’s perspective in developing the wellness policy for the District.
Goals to Promote Student Wellness
Taking into account the parameters of the School District (academic programs, annual budget, staffing issues, and available facilities) as well as the community in which the District is located (the general economy; socioeconomic status; local tax bases; social-cultural and religious influences; geography; and legal, political and social institutions) the Healthy Kids Committee recommends the following District goals relating to nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities:
School Health Policies and Environment
- Limit access to foods of low nutritive value
- In school fund-raising efforts model healthy eating choices
- Discourage use of food as a reward or punishment
- Orient and communicate school health recommendations to students, parents, staff and visitors
- Sequential health education curriculum at all grade levels in agreement with NYS Health Education Standards and requirements
- Assignments developed to encourage student’s interaction with family and community throughout all content areas, focusing on; self-management, relationship management, stress management, communication, decision making, planning and goal setting, and advocacy.
Physical Education and Other Physical Activity Programs
- Encourage and work toward the physical activity of students to coincide with Student Health Index CDC guidelines of the 225 minutes of physical education per week
- Encourage and promote participation in school-based and community extracurricular physical activity
- Encourage sites outside of the cafeteria to offer appealing, low-fat, low-sugar items for sale
- Identify and provide appealing and low-fat items in the cafeteria
School Health Services
- Promote accessibility and knowledge in regards to physical activity and promoting health and wellness.
School Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
- Establish strong community links for student and family referral
- Identify and refer students who are victims or perpetrators of violence
- Identify and refer students with health problems affected by physical activity
- Identify and refer students with health problems affected by nutrition
Health Promotion for Staff
- Increase the availability of health screening for staff, personal wellness education materials
- Ongoing staff involvement in the development and implementation of wellness programs through the school.
Family and Community Involvement
- Improve communication between family, school and community
- Reference – these goals are in the same format as the School Health Index (SHI)
The District Wellness Committee will recommend which nutrition standards will be established for all foods available on school campus during the school day based upon the unique needs of the student body and the community. The goal is to encourage healthy lifelong eating habits by providing foods that are high in nutrients, low in fat and added sugars, and of moderate portion size.
Nutritional Values of Foods and Beverages
- Reimbursable school meals served at school will meet the program requirements and nutrition standards of the National School Lunch Program.
- Food of minimal nutritional value on the school campus will be replaced with more nutritional options by adhering to the current USDA standards for nutritional value of foods and beverages.
- Nutrition information for products sold on campus will be readily available near the point of purchase.
- School fundraising efforts will include healthy eating choices.
- Parties and celebrations will include health eating choices.
A la carte, Vending Machines, Student Stores, Snack Bars, Concession Stands and Food-Related Fundraising
All contracts will only include healthy choices of beverages. Allowed: water or seltzer without caloric sweetener, 50-100% fruit or vegetable juice, low-fat and unflavored milk, and low-calorie sports beverages. Not allowed: soft drinks containing caloric sweeteners, iced teas, lemonade, fruit-based drinks
containing less than 50% real juice, carbonated beverages other than water without added caloric sweeteners that have been approved by USDA, meal replacement beverages and beverages containing caffeine, excluding low fat chocolate milk (which contains trivial amounts of caffeine).
Access to vending machines, snack bars, school stores, and other food outlets on school property will be limited to noninstructional times. All snack food sold will fall under the “choose sensibly” guidelines (7 grams or less of fat, 2 grams or less of saturated fat, 15 grams or less of sugar and 360 mg. or less of sodium).
Guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than applicable federal regulations and guidance issued pursuant to the Child Nutrition Act and the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.
Implementation and Evaluation of the Wellness Policy
In accordance with law, the District’s wellness policy must be established by July 1, 2006; and the District will ensure school and community awareness of this policy through various means such as publication in District newsletters and/or the District calendar. Further, professional development activities for staff and student awareness training will be provided, as appropriate, on the goals of the District’s wellness program, including activities/programs for the development of healthy eating habits and the incorporation of physical activity as part of a comprehensive healthy lifestyle.
The District shall establish an implementation and evaluation plan for the wellness policy in order to monitor the effectiveness of the policy and the possible need for further modification over time. Accordingly, the Superintendent shall designate one or more staff members within the District or at each school as appropriate to have operational responsibility for ensuring that the District meets the goals and mandates of its local wellness policy. Designated staff members may include, but are not limited to, the following personnel:
- School health personnel including the school nurse and the health and/or physical education teacher; and
- School Food Service Director.
These designated staff members shall annually, before October 15th of each school year, report to the Superintendent on the District’s compliance with the wellness policy, and the Superintendent shall inform the Board of such findings. The Superintendent/designee shall prepare a summary report on District-wide compliance with the District’s wellness policy based on input from schools within the District. That report will be provided to the School Board and also distributed to the wellness committee, parent-teacher organizations, Building Principals, and school health services personnel within the District. The report shall also be available to community residents upon request.
These designated school officials will also serve as a liaison with community agencies in providing outside resources to help in the development of nutrition education programs and physical activities.
Evaluation and feedback from interested parties, including an assessment of student, parent, teacher, and administration satisfaction with the wellness policy, is essential to the District’s evaluation program. Further, the District shall document the financial impact, if any, to the school food service program, school stores, or vending machine revenues based on the implementation of the wellness policy.
District schools will provide nutrition education and physical education, with an emphasis on establishing lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services. Communication with and training for teachers, parents, students, and food service personnel will be an integral part of the District’s implementation plan.
To the extent practicable, students and parents shall be involved in the development of strategies designed to promote healthy food choices in the school environment; and the school cafeteria will provide a variety of nutritionally sound meal and beverage choices. The school will encourage students’ active, age-appropriate participation in decisions regarding healthy lifestyles and choices. Positive reinforcement such as letters of recognition and acknowledgment will be utilized as a means to encourage healthy eating patterns among the student population. In addition, the school will share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students; such information may be made available on menus, a website, or such other “point-of-purchase” materials.
Assessments of the District’s wellness policy shall be done every three years, utilizing the School Health Index (SHI) as an assessment tool, to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. The District, and individual schools within the District, will, as necessary, revise the wellness policy and develop work plans to facilitate its implementation.