8510 - WELLNESS
As required by law, the School Board established the following wellness policy for the School Corporation as a part of a comprehensive wellness initiative.
The Board recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well-being of the Corporation’s students. Furthermore, research suggests that there is a positive correlation between a student’s health and well-being and his/her ability to learn. Moreover, schools can play an important role in the development process by which students establish their health and nutrition habits by providing nutritious meals and snacks through the schools’ meal programs, by supporting the development of good eating habits, and by promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.
Schools alone, however, cannot develop in students healthy behaviors and habits with regard to eating and exercise. It will be necessary for not only the staff but also parents and the public at large to be involved in a community-wide effort to enable students to establish good health and nutrition habits.
The Board sets the following goals in an effort to enable student to establish good health and nutrition habits:
A. With regard to nutrition education:
- Nutrition education shall be included in the health curriculum so that instruction is sequential and standard-based and provides students with the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to lead healthy lives.
- Nutrition education shall be included in the sequential, comprehensive health curriculum in accordance with the curriculum standards and benchmarks established by the State.
- Nutrition education shall be integrated into other subject areas of the curriculum, when appropriate, to complement, but not replace, the standards and benchmarks for health education.
- Nutrition education standards and benchmarks shall be age-appropriate and culturally relevant.
- The standards and benchmarks for nutrition education shall be behavior focused.
- Nutrition education shall extend beyond the classroom by engaging and involving the school’s food service staff.
- Nutrition education shall reinforce lifelong balance by emphasizing the link between caloric intake (eating) and exercise in ways that are age-appropriate.
- Nutrition education standards and benchmarks promote the benefits of a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, and low-fat and fat-free dairy products.
- Staff responsible for providing instruction in nutrition education shall regularly participate in professional development activities designed to better enable them to teach the benchmarks and standards.
- Instruction related to the standards and benchmarks for nutrition education shall be provided by highly qualified teachers.
- The Corporation shall provide information to parents that is designed to encourage them to reinforce at home the standards and benchmarks being taught in the classroom.
B. With regard to physical activity:
- Physical Education
- A sequential, comprehensive physical education program shall be provided for students in K-12 in accordance with the physical education academic content standards and benchmarks adopted by the State.
- All students in grades K-12, including those with disabilities, special healthcare needs and in alternative educational settings ( to the extent consistent with the students’ IEPs), shall receive daily physical education for the entire school year, for at least 150 minutes per week for K-5 students and at least 225 minutes per week for students in grades 6-12.
- The physical education curriculum shall provide sequential instruction related to the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to participate in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
- Physical education classes shall provide students with opportunities to learn, practice, and be assessed on developmentally appropriate knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to engage in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
- The sequential, comprehensive physical education curriculum shall stress the importance of remaining physically active for life.
- The K-12 program shall include instruction in physical education as well as opportunities to participate in competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage lifelong physical activity.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall require students to be engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least fifty percent of the scheduled class time.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall teach cooperation, fair play, and responsible participation.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall meet the needs of all students, including those who are not athletically gifted.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall be presented in an environment free of embarrassment, humiliation, shaming, taunting, bullying, or harassment of any kind.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall include cooperative as well as competitive games.
- Planned instruction in physical education shall take into account gender and cultural differences.
- Physical Activity
- Physical activity shall not be employed as a form of discipline or punishment.
- Physical activity and movement shall be integrated, when possible, across the curricula and throughout the school day
- Schools shall encourage families to provide physical activity outside the regular school day, such as outdoor play at home, participation in sports sponsored by community agencies or organizations, and in lifelong physical activities like bowling, swimming or tennis.
- The school shall provide information to families to encourage and assist them in their efforts to incorporate physical activity into their children's daily lives.
- The school shall provide students in grades 6-12 with the opportunity to use physical activity in which they participate outside the regular school day (other than organized interscholastic athletics) to satisfy physical activity requirements.
- In addition to planned physical education, the school shall provide age-appropriate physical activities (e.g., recess during the school day, intramurals and clubs before and after school, and interscholastic sports) that meet the needs of all students, including males, females, students with disabilities, and students with special health care needs.
- All students in grades 6-12 shall have the opportunity to participate in interscholastic sports programs.
- School shall offer a wide range of physical activities outside the regular school day that meet the needs, interest, and abilities of all students, including males, females, students with disabilities, and students with special healthcare needs.
C. With regard to other school-based activities:
- The schools shall schedule mealtimes so there is minimum disruption by bus schedules, recess, and other special programs or events.
- The school shall provide attractive, clean environments in which the students eat.
- Activities, such as tutoring or club meetings, shall not be scheduled during mealtimes, unless students may eat during those meetings
- Students, parents, and other community members shall have access to, and be encouraged to use, the school’s outdoor physical activity facilities outside the normal school day.
- An organized wellness program shall be available to all staff.
- The schools may use environmentally friendly practices, such as the use of locally grown foods and non-disposable tableware and dishes.
- The schools may provide opportunities for staff, parents, and other community members to model healthy eating habits by dining with students in the school dining area.
- The schools may demonstrate support for the health of all students by hosting health clinics and screenings and encouraging parents to enroll their eligible children in Medicaid or in other children’s health insurance programs for which they may qualify.
- Schools in our system utilize electronic identification and payment systems, therefore, eliminating any stigma or identification of students eligible to receive free and/or reduced meals.
- Students are discouraged from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some students’ diets.
D. With regard to nutrition promotion, 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.
Additionally, the Corporation shall:
- Encourage students to increase their consumption of healthful foods during the school day;
- Create an environment that reinforces the development of healthy eating habits, including offering the following healthy foods:
- A variety of fresh produce to include those prepared without added fats, sugars, refined sugars, and sodium
- A variety of vegetables daily to include specific subgroups as defined by dark green, red/orange, legumes, and starchy
- Whole grain products - half of all grains need to be whole grain-rich upon initial implementation and all grains must be whole grain-rich within two (2) years of implementation
- Fluid milk that is fat-free (unflavored and flavored) and low-fat (unflavored)
- Meals designed to meet specific calorie ranges for age/grade groups
- Eliminate trans-fat from school meals;
- Require students to select a fruit or vegetable as part of a complete reimbursable meal;
- Provide opportunities for students to develop the knowledge and skills for consuming healthful foods;
- Promote and encourage Farm to School efforts through its nutrition department in order to provide the healthy food identified above;
- Discourage rewarding children in the classroom with candy and other foods that can undermine children’s diets and health and reinforce unhealthy eating habits. A wide variety of alternative rewards can be used to provide positive reinforcement for children’s behavior and academic performance.
Furthermore, with the objectives of enhancing student health and well-being, and reducing childhood obesity, the following guidelines are established:
- In accordance with Policy 8550, entitled Food Service, the food service program shall comply with Federal and State regulations pertaining to the selection, preparation, consumption, and disposal of food and beverages as well as to the fiscal management of the program.
- The sale of foods of minimal nutritional value in the food service area during the lunch period is prohibited.
- As set forth in Policy 8531, entitled Free and Reduced Price Meals, the guidelines for reimbursable school meals are not less restrictive than the guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
- The sale to students of food and beverages that do not meet the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition standards to be consumed on the school campus during the school day is prohibited. Competitive foods available for purchase by students a la carte in the dining area and foods or beverages sold from vending machines are subject to this prohibition.
- The food service program will strive to be financially self-supporting; however, if it is necessary to subsidize the operation, it will not be through the sale of foods with minimal nutritious value.
- The food service program will provide all students affordable access to the varied and nutritious food they need to be healthy and to learn well.
- All food items and beverages available for sale to students for consumption on campus between midnight and thirty (30) minutes after the close of the regular school day shall comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including, but no limited to, competitive foods that are available to students a la carte in the dining area, as well as food items and beverages from vending machines, school stores, or fund-raisers by student clubs and organizations, parent groups, or boosters clubs.
- The school food service program may involve students, parents, staff, and school officials in the selection of competitive food items to be sold in the schools
- The school shall prepare and distribute to staff, parents, and after-school program personnel a list of snack items that comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- The food service program shall be administered by a qualified nutrition professional.
- The food service program shall be administered by a director who is properly qualified, certificated, licensed, or credentialed, according to current professional standards.
- All food service personnel shall receive pre-service training in food service operations.
- Continuing professional development shall be provided for all staff of the food service program.
The Board designates the building principals as the individuals charged with operational responsibility for measuring and evaluating the Corporation’s implementation and progress under this policy.
The Superintendent shall appoint a Corporation wellness committee that meets at least four times per year, and includes parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, nutritionists or certified dieticians, educational staff (including health and physical education teachers), mental health and social services staff, school health professionals, the School Board, school administrators, and members of the public to oversee the development, implementation, evaluation, and periodic update, if necessary, of the wellness policy.
The wellness committee shall be an ad hoc committee of the Board with members recruited and appointed annually.
The wellness committee shall:
- Assess the current environment in each of the Corporation’s schools;
- Measure the implementation of the Corporation’s wellness policy in each of the Corporation's schools
- Review the Corporation’s current wellness policy;
- Recommend revision of the policy, as appropriate; and
- Present the wellness policy, with any recommended revisions, to the Board for approval or re-adoption if revisions are recommended.
Before the end of each school year, the wellness committee shall submit to the Superintendent and Board their report in which they describe the environment in each of the Corporation’s schools and the implementation of the wellness policy in each school, and identify any revisions to the policy the committee deems necessary. In its review, the wellness committee shall consider evidence-based strategies in determining its recommendations.
The Corporation shall assess the wellness policy at least once every three (3) years on the extent to which schools in the Corporation are in compliance with the Corporation policy, the extent to which the Corporation policy compares to model wellness policies, and the progress made in attaining the goals of the Corporation Wellness Policy. To ensure continuing progress, the Corporation will evaluate implementation efforts and their impact on students and staff using the following tool:
The assessment shall be made available to the public on the school corporation’s website.
Food and beverage marketing that allow marketing and advertising on only those foods and beverages that meet the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
42 USC 1751 et seq.
42 USC 1758b
42 USC 1771 et seq.
7 CFR Parts 210 and 220