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:
c) The District’s food service program;
d) The School Board;
e) School administrators; and
f) Members of the public.
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 Wellness Committee recommends the following District goals relating to nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities:
The District will provide nutrition education to facilitate the voluntary adoption of healthy eating habits and other nutrition-related behaviors conducive to health and well-being by establishing the following standards for:
a) Classroom teaching:
- What do we want to be taught in the classroom; what standards should be followed; what specific learning outcomes do we expect?
- In addition to specifics relating to nutrition content of foods, will we recommend incorporation of instruction on healthy body image, weight management and eating disorders?
b) Education, marketing and promotion links outside the classroom:
- What nutrition education do we want to occur outside the classroom that links the classroom nutrition education program to the larger school community (e.g., school gardens, cafeteria-based nutrition programs)?
c) Fundraising activities:
- What food-related fundraising activities, if any, are appropriate for the District?
d) Teacher training:
- What initial training and ongoing professional development do we want in place to aid staff in teaching nutrition?
- The District will provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, to maintain physical fitness, to regularly participate in physical activity, and to understand the short-term and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
The Wellness Committee has determined that the following standards are necessary to achieve this goal:
a) Physical education graduation requirements:
- What amount of physical education instruction will be required for graduation?
b) Physical education class requirements:
- How many minutes per day/week? How many days per week? What intensity of physical activity?
- Are appropriate physical activities provided for special populations?
- What should be the teacher-to-student ratio for physical education class at specific grade levels?
- Should we use national or state-developed standards for physical education?
c) Staff training/certification for physical education:
- What requirements should we have for professional preparation and/or ongoing professional development for classroom teachers, physical education teachers, coaches, etc.?
d) Physical activity outside physical education classes:
- How many minutes per day/week, how many days per week and at what level of intensity should classroom-based physical activities occur?
- How many minutes per day/week, how many days per week and at what level of intensity should recess or free-time activities be scheduled?
- Should we encourage walking or biking to school, and if so, how?
Other School-based Activities
The District wishes to establish a school environment that presents consistent wellness messages and is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity for all. In order to present a coordinated school approach where District decision-making related to nutrition and physical activity encompasses all aspects of the school, the Wellness Committee has determined that the following standards are necessary to achieve this goal:
a) Federal School Meal Programs:
The District will participate to the maximum extent practicable in available federal school meal programs [School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program (including after-school snacks), Summer Food Service Program, Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (including suppers)].
b) Access to school nutrition programs:
- How can we ensure that all eligible children have access to free/reduced price meals in a non-stigmatizing manner?
- Do we offer meal options that are culturally sensitive and address special dietary needs?
c) Meal environment:
- Does meal timing and scheduling encourage participation in the school nutrition programs?
- Is the physical environment conducive to proper eating habits?
- Are staff encouraged to eat with students?
d) After-school programs for students:
- Do our after-school programs incorporate nutrition related components and/or physical activity in line with our school-based philosophy?
e) Community access to District facilities for physical activities:
- Do we provide facility access to students, families, staff, and the community for physical activity?
- How do we support staff wellness activities?
- Does our adult education program offer classes relating to the District’s wellness philosophy?
f) Community involvement:
- How do we involve family and/or community members in wellness planning beyond the required participation on the Wellness Committee and/or School Health Committee?
- How will we publicize our Wellness Policy?
g) Sustainable food practices:
- Do we have standards for environmentally-friendly practices relating to food service in the schools?
- Do we encourage a school garden as well as use of locally grown and seasonal foods?
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.