Wellness Policy

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 Child Nutrition Advisory Committee includes, but is not limited to, representatives from each of the following groups:

  • Parents;
  • Students;
  • The District’s food service program;
  • The School Board;
  • School administrators; and
  • Members of the public.

The Child Nutrition Advisory 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 Child Nutrition Advisory 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 Child Nutrition Advisory Committee recommends the following District goals relating to nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities:

Nutrition Education

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:

  • The primary goal of nutrition education is to influence students’ eating behaviors.
  • Nutrition education will be offered at each grade level as a part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote their health.
  • Nutrition education will promote fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, healthy food, preparation methods and health enhancing nutrition practices.
  • Nutrition education will teach media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing.
  • The elementary school teachers will be provided with materials and be encouraged to get their students moving whenever possible.
  • Teachers will have access to the Team Nutrition material through SED and the USDA.
  • Students in grade K-12 shall receive nutrition education that is interactive and teaches the skills they need to adopt healthy eating behaviors
  • Throughout the district Health Education, Parenting Skills, Home & Careers, and Nutrition education shall meet if not exceed SED requirements in the classroom.
  • The district will promote consistent nutrition and wellness messages throughout schools, classrooms, cafeterias, home and community.

b) Education, marketing and promotion links outside the classroom:

  • The wellness policy will be sent home to parents.
  • Presentations will be made regarding our wellness policy at PTA meetings.
  • News releases will be sent to local media announcing the district wellness policy.
  • A healthy snack letter will be sent home each school year to parents.
  • Invite family and community members to participate in morning program and “Special Persons’ Day”
  • Information will be available promoting breakfast, nutrition and physical activities

c) Fundraising activities:

Fundraising/Bake sales centered solely on high sugar, high fat, low nutrition food items that present no healthy alternative or choice are specifically discouraged. Schools will encourage activities that promote physical activity. The school district will make available a list of ideas for fundraising.

d)  Teacher training:

  • Present & review policy with faculty and staff
  • Make materials readily available
  • Seek training for up to date materials

Physical Activity

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 Child Nutrition Advisory Committee has determined that the following standards are necessary to achieve this goal:

a) Physical education graduation requirements:

Every student is required to complete two credits in physical education at the high school level.   To accomplish this goal, a student must pass eight semesters earning  a ¼ credit per semester.  Classes meet every other day for forty minutes.

b) Physical education class requirements:

  • Elementary students study large and fine motor skills, fitness, team building, problem solving, and rhythm.
  • K-4 meets for 40 minutes every other day
  • 5-6 meets for 39 minutes every other day and does the presidential fitness challenge.
  • Students in grades seven through twelve participate in a variety of units of study throughout the school year. The units provide the students with experiences which are both team oriented and personal performance based. The curriculum is knowledge based for the students to utilize as future adult consumers. Through the year components of fitness are taught and reinforced to provide the students with information to make healthy lifestyle choices.
  • While attending grades seven and eight all students must attend courses of instruction in physical education.  These courses meet every other day for forty minutes.

c) Staff training/certification for physical education:

A certified physical education teacher shall teach physical education.

d) Physical activity outside physical education classes:

  • Recess shall complement, not be a substitute for the physical education classes.
  • Teachers will provide a daily physical activity break whenever possible within the classroom.
  • The district will provide a daily supervised recess period at the elementary level, preferably outdoors during which time students will be encouraged moderate to vigorous physical activities

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), and Summer Food Service Program].

b) Access to school nutrition programs:

  • The schools will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent overt identification of students who are eligible for free and reduced school meals. This is currently achieved through the use of coded rosters and prepayment of weekly and quarterly meal tickets; reducing the need for cash transactions at the registers.
  • We address any culturally sensitive and special dietary need as they become known to us. I.e. religious observations and/or special medical dietary needs.

c) Meal environment:

  • Breakfast is served for 1 hour and lunch is served for 2 hours.
  • All students are given a 30 minute lunch period which provides them with at least 15 to 20 minutes for lunch after sitting down.
  • No clubs, tutoring, or organizational meetings will be scheduled at lunchtime, unless students may eat during such activities.
  • The school will provide access to hand washing before they eat meals or snacks.
  • The cafeterias are large, open, and well lit, creating an inviting and friendly atmosphere.
  • When scheduling permits, staff is encouraged to eat with their students.

d) After-school programs for students:

Students participating in our after-school program in grades five through eight  receive snacks as well as those elementary students, who participate in various clubs and organized activities during the after-school hour.

e) Community access to District facilities for physical activities:

  • The district’s adult education program offers classes related to the District’s wellness philosophy dependent upon the availability of appropriate instructors.
  • The district makes the facilities available to a variety of outside organizations, which conduct a variety of adult physical activities throughout the school year, (IE. Volleyball, Basketball, walking, etc.)

f) Community involvement:

  • The wellness policy will be sent home to parents.
  • Presentations will be made regarding our wellness policy at PTA meetings.
  • News releases will be sent to local media announcing the district wellness policy.
  • A healthy snack letter will be sent home each school year to parents.
  • Nutrition information will be posted on the web
  • Invite family and community members to participate in Morning Program and “Special Persons’ Day” as well as other programs presented during the school year.

g) Sustainable food practices:

  • The district encourages recycling practices in all of our food services operations.
  • The district has implemented the use of pure water dispensers in each of the school buildings and encouraged the recycling of all paper products.
  • Whenever possible the district purchases locally grown produce.

Nutrition Guidelines

The District Child Nutrition Advisory 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 district follows the “choose sensibly” guidelines for snack items established by the New York School Nutrition Association. 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

a) Reimbursable school meals served at school will minimally meet the program requirements and nutrition standards of the National School Lunch Program.

http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_05/7cfr210_05.html

b) Food of minimal nutritional value on the school campus will be replaced with more nutritional options by adhering to the following standards for nutritional value of foods and beverages per serving:

Food items:

  • Calories from total fat – 7 grams or less
  • Calories from saturated fat – 2 grams or less
  • Total sugar – 15 grams or less
  • Whole grain-will be utilized as much as possible when available
  • Portion size – single serving packaging except milk
  • Fruits and vegetables – a choice of at least 2-3 fruits and non-fried vegetables will be offered for sale at any location where foods are sold on campus

Beverages – per 8 oz serving

  • Juice-25% or more real juice
  • Milk-whole, low-fat, non-fat & flavored low-fat
  • All beverages with less than 20 mg of caffeine
  • Water or flavored water without added sugar or artificial sweetener.

This will be accomplished over a three year period with the first year having 50% of all items meeting the above criteria, the second year meeting 70% and the third year having 85% of all items meet the above mentioned nutritional criteria The ultimate goal will be having 100%  of items served or sold on campus meeting the above criteria.

c) Nutrition information for products sold on campus will be readily available upon request at the point of purchase. All nutritional information for prepackaged products sold is listed on the items.

A la carte, vending machines, student stores, snack bars, concession stands, parties, dances, celebrations, food-related fundraising, and food rewards/punishments

  • A la carte, vending machines, student stores, snack bars and concession stands should all follow the guidelines stated in subheading b) of Nutritional Values of Foods and Beverages.
  • Fundraising and bake sales: see Classroom Teaching subheading c)
  • Celebrations/Parties- Classroom, club, team celebrations, dances and parties, to the extent that they are food events, should reflect the school district’s policy promoting healthy food choices.
  • Food rewards- to the extent that rewards are used, the school district encourages rewards, such as healthy snacks, physical activity and appropriate non-food rewards, and discourage the use of unhealthy sugary, high fat snacks particularly as daily token rewards.
  • Food should never be used as a punishment.

Food or beverage contracts

We currently do not have any food or vending company contracts (other than those directly related to the bidding process). The Child Nutrition Advisory committee does not recommend participating in  any contracts (i.e. pouring rights) at this time. We will review this matter in the future as the need arises, considering all the SED regulations in place at that time.

Vending machines, snack bars, school stores, concession stands, and other food outlets

Access to vending machines, snack bars, school stores, concession stands, and other food outlets on school property will be compliant with Federal and NY State laws regarding the time frame foods of minimal nutritional value can be sold. The items will also follow the guidelines stated in Nutrition Guidelines – Nutritional Values of Food and Beverages Item b).

Assurance

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:

a) Administrators;

b) School health personnel including the school nurse and the health and/or physical education teacher; and

c) School Food Service Director.

These designated staff members shall periodically 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 child nutrition advisory 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 web  site, or such other “point-of-purchase” materials.

Assessments of the District’s wellness policy and implementation efforts may be repeated on an  annual basis, but it is recommended that such assessment occur no later than every three (3) years, 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.

Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 Public Law Section 108-265 Section 204

Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act

42 United States Code (USC) Section 1751 et seq. Child Nutrition Act of 1966

42 United States Code (USC) Section 1771 et seq. 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 210.10

http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_05/7cfr210_ 05.html