Child Nutrition » Wellness Policy

Wellness Policy

Wellness Policy 

 
 
The board recognizes that it is important for students to maintain their physical health and receive proper nutrition in order to take advantage of educational opportunities. The board further recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to a student’s physical well-being, growth, development and readiness to learn. The board is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience.
A. SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL
The board will maintain a school health advisory council to help plan, update, implement, promote and monitor this policy as well as to address other health and nutrition issues within the school system. The council serves as an advisory committee regarding student health issues. The council is authorized to examine related research and laws, assess student needs and the current school environment, review existing board policies and administrative regulations, collaborate with appropriate community agencies and organizations, and help raise awareness about student health issues. The council also may make policy recommendations to the board related to this policy and other policies concerning student wellness and may assist the superintendent in the periodic review and revision of this policy. In addition, the council may assist in the development of a plan for measuring and assessing implementation of this policy and in developing methods to inform and update the public about the content and implementation of this policy as described in Section G, below.
The council will be composed of representatives from the school system, the local health department and the community. The council must include members of each of the following groups: the school board, school system administrators, school system food service representatives, physical education teachers, school health professionals, students, parents or guardians and the public. The council will provide information to the board about the following areas or concerns: safe environment, physical education, health education, staff wellness, health services, mental and social health, nutrition services and parent/family involvement.
The council shall provide periodic reports to the board regarding the status of its work. In addition, the council shall assist the superintendent in creating an annual report that includes the minutes of physical activity and the minutes of physical education and/or healthful living education received by students in the system each school year, as well as any other information required by the State Board of Education.
B. NUTRITION PROMOTION AND EDUCATION
The board believes that promoting student health and nutrition enhances readiness for learning and increases student achievement. The goals of nutrition promotion and education are (1) to provide appropriate instruction for the acquisition of behaviors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle for students and (2) to teach, encourage and support healthy eating by students.
The board will provide nutrition education within the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study and the grade level expectations outlined in the Healthful Living Essential Standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Nutrition education should be designed to provide all students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy lives. Students should learn to address nutrition-related health concerns through age-appropriate nutrition education lessons and activities.
Nutrition education and promotion should extend beyond the school environment by engaging and involving families and communities. School system personnel may coordinate with agencies and community organizations to provide opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition. School system personnel are to work to disseminate and promote consistent nutrition messages throughout the school system, schools, classrooms, cafeterias, homes, community and media.
C. NUTRITION GUIDELINES
Consistent with policy 6200, Goals of Student Food Services, all foods available in the system’s schools during the school day that are offered to students should help promote student health, reduce childhood obesity, provide a variety of nutritional meals and promote lifelong healthy eating habits.
Foods provided through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs must comply with federal nutrition standards. In addition, food selections must also be consistent with the state nutrition standards established by the State Board of Education and with policy 6230, Nutritional Standards for Food Selection.
Competitive foods must meet State Board of Education nutrition standards, applicable federal standards, as well as any other nutrition standards established by the superintendent pursuant to policy 6230. Competitive foods are defined as foods sold at school other than through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs, including food, snacks and beverages from a la carte menus, vending machines and outside suppliers. In addition, all vending machine sales must comply with the requirements of G.S. 115C-264.2 and Eat Smart: North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools.
D. PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
The goal of the physical education program is to promote lifelong physical activity and provide instruction in the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong participation in physical activity. To address issues such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade must have the opportunity to participate in physical activity as part of the system’s physical education curriculum. The physical education course should be designed to foster support and guidance for being physically active, help students know and understand the value of being physically fit, and teach students the types of activities that contribute to total fitness. The course is to be taught in an environment where students can learn, practice and receive assessment on age-appropriate skills as defined in the North Carolina Healthful Living Essential Standards.
School personnel should strive to provide opportunities for age- and developmentally-appropriate physical activity during the day for all students so that students can learn how to maintain a physically active lifestyle. Schools must provide a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. Such activity may be achieved through a regular physical education class, recess, dance, classroom energizers and/or other curriculum-based physical activity programs. Principals shall work with teachers to ensure that students meet the minimum physical activity requirement.
To ensure that students have ongoing opportunities for physical activity and maintain a positive attitude towards physical activity, structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity may not be taken away from students as a form of punishment. In addition, severe and inappropriate exercise may not be used as a form of punishment for students.
E. OTHER SCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE WELLNESS
In addition to the standards discussed above, the board adopts the following goals for school-based activities designed to promote wellness:
1. Schools will provide a clean and safe meal environment.
2. Students will be provided adequate time to eat meals.
3. Drinking water will be available at all meal periods and throughout the school day.
4. Professional development will be provided for school system nutrition staff.
5. To the extent possible, the school system will utilize available funding and outside programs to enhance student wellness.
6. Food will not be used in the schools as a reward or punishment.
7. As appropriate, the goals of this student wellness policy will be considered in planning all school-based activities.
8. Administrators, teachers, food service personnel, students, parents or guardians, and community members will be encouraged to serve as positive role models to promote student wellness.
F. GUIDELINES FOR REIMBURSABLE MEALS
The director of child nutrition shall ensure that school system guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued for schools in accordance with federal law.
G. IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW OF POLICY
The superintendent or designee shall oversee the implementation of this policy and monitor system schools, programs and curricula to ensure compliance with this policy, related policies and established guidelines or administrative regulations. Each principal shall be responsible for and shall report to the superintendent or designee regarding compliance in his or her school. Staff members responsible for programs related to student wellness also shall report to the superintendent or designee regarding the status of such programs. Members of the school health advisory council will be invited to participate in the ongoing implementation and periodic review and updating of this policy.
The superintendent or designee shall report annually to the board on the system’s compliance with laws and policies related to student wellness and the implementation of this policy. At a minimum, the superintendent shall measure and report the following:
1. the extent to which the individual schools are in compliance with this policy;
2. the extent to which the board’s wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies; and
3. a description of the progress made in attaining the goals of this policy.
The report may also include the following items:
1. an assessment of the school environment regarding student wellness issues;
2. an evaluation of food services programs;
3. a review of all foods and beverages sold in schools for compliance with established nutrition guidelines;
4. a list of all activities and programs conducted to promote nutrition and physical activity;
5. information provided in the report from the School Health Advisory Council, as described in section A, above; and
6. suggestions for improvement to policies or programs.
H. PUBLIC NOTIFICATION
The superintendent shall implement practices and procedures to inform and update the public about the content and implementation of this policy, including the information reported to the board as required in Section G, above. This information will be widely disseminated to students, parents and the community.
Legal References: Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, 42 U.S.C. 1751 note (Local Wellness Policy);  Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, P.L. 111-296; National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.; G.S. 115C-264.2, -264.3; State Board of Education Policies GCS-S-000, TCS-S-002; Eat Smart: North Carolina's Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Division of Public Health (2004)
http://www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com/programs_tools/school/docs/food_standards/SchoolFoodsStandards.pdf
Cross References: Goals of Student Health Services (policy 6100), Goals of Student Food Services (policy 6200), Nutritional Standards for Food Selection (policy 6230)
Adopted: April 9, 2013
Revised: April 1, 2014