I. School Wellness Committee - Committee Role and Membership
The Division will convene a representative School Health Advisory Board (hereto referred to as the SHAB) that meets at least two times per year to establish goals for and oversee school health and safety policies and programs, including development, implementation and periodic review and update of this Division-level wellness policy (heretofore referred as “wellness policy”). The Superintendent or designee(s) will convene the SHAB and facilitate development of and updates to the wellness policy, and will ensure each school’s compliance with the policy.
II. Triennial Progress Assessments
At least once every three years, the Division will evaluate compliance with the wellness policy to assess the implementation of the policy and include:
§ The extent to which schools under the jurisdiction of the Division are in compliance with the wellness policy; and
§ A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the Division’s wellness policy.
Our school Division is committed to serving healthy meals to children, with plenty of 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 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. All schools within the Division participate in USDA child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Supper programs, or others. The Division also operates or is in the process of implementing additional nutrition-related programs and activities including [such as Farm to School programs, Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab ‘n’ Go Breakfast, or others]. All schools within the Division are committed to offering school
meals through the NSLP and SBP programs, and other applicable Federal child nutrition programs, that:
§ Are accessible to all students;
§ Are appealing and attractive to children;
§ Are served in clean and pleasant settings;
§ Meet or exceed current nutrition requirements established by local, state, and Federal statutes and regulations. (The Division offers reimbursable school meals that meet USDA nutrition standards.)
§ Promote healthy food and beverage choices using at least ten of the following Smarter Lunchroom techniques:
− Sliced or cut fruit is available daily.
− All available vegetable options have been given creative or descriptive names.
− Daily vegetable options are bundled into all grab-and-go meals available to students.
− All staff members, especially those serving, have been trained to politely prompt students to select and consume the daily vegetable options with their meal.
− Alternative entrée options (e.g., salad bar, yogurt parfaits, etc.) are highlighted on posters or signs within all service and dining areas.
− A reimbursable meal can be created in any service area available to students (e.g., salad bars, etc.).
− Student surveys and taste testing opportunities are used to inform menu development.
− Daily announcements are used to promote and market menu options.
§ Menus will be posted on the Division website or individual school websites.
§ School meals are administered by a team of child nutrition professionals.
§ The Division child nutrition program will accommodate students with special dietary needs.
§ Students will be allowed at least 10 minutes to eat breakfast and at least 20 minutes to eat lunch, counting from the time they have received their meal and are seated (meets Healthy Schools Program Gold-level criteria).
§ Students are served lunch at a reasonable and appropriate time of day.
§ Participation in Federal child nutrition programs will be promoted among students and families to help ensure that families know what programs are available in their children’s school.
§ The Division will incorporate local and/or regional products into the school meal program.
Staff Qualifications and Professional Development
All school nutrition program directors, managers and staff will meet the USDA professional standards for child nutrition professionals.
§ Water cups/jugs will be available in the cafeteria if a drinking fountain is not present.
§ All water sources and containers will be maintained on a regular basis to ensure good hygiene and health safety standards. Such sources and containers may include drinking fountains, water jugs, hydration stations, water jets and other methods for delivering drinking water.
§ Students will be allowed to bring and carry (approved by teachers and building administrator) water bottles filled with only water with them throughout the day.
§ Add/maintain a filtered water fountain in each school.
Competitive Foods and Beverages
The Division is committed to ensuring that all foods and beverages available 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. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation provides a set of tools to assist with implementation of Smart Snacks available at www.foodplanner.healthiergeneration.org.
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 or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks nutrition. 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.
The Division will teach, model, encourage and support healthy eating by all students. Schools will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
§ Is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
§ Is part of not only health education classes, but also integrated into other classroom instruction through elective subjects;
§ Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products and healthy food preparation methods;
§ Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (promotes physical activity/exercise);
§ Links with school meal programs, cafeteria nutrition promotion activities, Farm to School programs, other school foods and nutrition-related community services;
Essential Healthy Eating Topics in Health Education
The Division will include in the health education curriculum the following essential topics on healthy eating:
§ Relationship between healthy eating and personal health and disease prevention
§ Eating a variety of foods every day
§ Balancing food intake and physical activity
§ Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grain products
§ Choosing foods that are low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol and do not contain trans fat
§ Choosing foods and beverages with little added sugars
§ Preparing healthy meals and snacks
§ Risks of unhealthy weight control practices
§ Importance of water consumption
§ Importance of eating breakfast
§ Making healthy choices when eating at restaurants
§ Eating disorders
§ Social influences on healthy eating, including media, family, peers and culture
§ How to find valid information or services related to nutrition and dietary behavior
§ How to develop a plan and track progress toward achieving a personal goal to eat healthfully
§ Resisting peer pressure related to unhealthy dietary behavior
§ Influencing, supporting, or advocating for others’ healthy dietary behavior
Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools
The Division is committed to providing a school environment that ensures opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions. The Division strives to teach students how to make informed choices about nutrition, health and physical activity. These efforts will be weakened if students are subjected to advertising on Division property that contains messages inconsistent with the health information the Division is imparting through nutrition education and health promotion efforts. It is the intent of the Division 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 Division’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.
The Division 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 Division will make appropriate accommodations to allow for equitable participation for all students and will adapt physical education classes and equipment as necessary.
All Division elementary students in each grade will receive physical education for an average of 45 minutes per week throughout the school year.
All Division secondary students (middle and high school) are required to take the equivalent of two academic years of physical education.
The Division physical education program will promote student physical fitness through individualized fitness and activity assessments (via the Cooper Institute FITNESSGRAM and will use criterion-based reporting for each student.
§ Students will be moderately to vigorously active for at least 50% of class time during most or all physical education class sessions (meets Healthy Schools Program Silver-level criteria).
§ All physical education teachers in the division will be required to participate in at least a once a year professional development in education (meets Healthy Schools Program Silver-level criteria).
§ Waivers, exemptions, or substitutions for physical education classes are not granted.
Essential Physical Activity Topics in Health Education
Health education will be required in all grades (elementary) and the division will require middle students to take and pass at least one health education course. High school students will be required to take and pass at least two health education courses. The Division will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 the following essential topics on physical activity:
§ The physical, psychological, or social benefits of physical activity
§ How physical activity can contribute to a healthy weight
§ How physical activity can contribute to the academic learning process
§ How an inactive lifestyle contributes to chronic disease
§ Health-related fitness, that is, cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition
§ Differences between physical activity, exercise and fitness
§ Phases of an exercise session, that is, warm up, workout and cool down
§ Overcoming barriers to physical activity
§ Decreasing sedentary activities, such as TV watching
§ Opportunities for physical activity in the community
§ Preventing injury during physical activity
§ Weather-related safety, for example, avoiding heat stroke, hypothermia and sunburn while being physically active
§ How much physical activity is enough, that is, determining frequency, intensity, time and type of physical activity
§ Developing an individualized physical activity and fitness plan
§ Monitoring progress toward reaching goals in an individualized physical activity plan
§ Dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs, such as steroids
§ Social influences on physical activity, including media, family, peers and culture
§ How to find valid information or services related to physical activity and fitness
§ How to influence, support, or advocate for others to engage in physical activity
§ How to resist peer pressure that discourages physical activity.
All elementary schools will offer at least 20 minutes of recess on all days during the school year. This policy may be waived on early dismissal or late arrival days.
Outdoor recess will be offered when weather is feasible for outdoor play. In the event that the school or division must conduct indoor recess, teachers and staff will promote physical activity for students, to the extent practicable.
Recess will complement, not substitute, physical education class.
Classroom Physical Activity Breaks (Elementary and Secondary)
The Division 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 Division recommends teachers provide short (3-5-minute) physical activity breaks to students during and between classroom time at least three days per week. These physical activity breaks will complement, not substitute, for physical education class, recess, and class transition periods.
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.
Teachers will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible.
Schools in the Division 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 Division’s curriculum experts.
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 Division will continue relationships with the community 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.
Community Health Promotion and Family Engagement
The Division 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 Division will use electronic mechanisms (e.g., email or displaying notices on the division’s website), as well as non-electronic mechanisms, (e.g., newsletters, presentations to parents or sending information home to parents), to ensure that all families are actively notified of opportunities to participate in school-sponsored activities and receive information about health promotion efforts.
When feasible, the Division 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 Division staff understand the connections between academics and health and the ways in which health and wellness are integrated into ongoing division reform or academic improvement plans/efforts.
Adopted: March 19, 2018
03/18 ACPS ALLEGHANY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS