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District Wellness Policy EFA-AR

Code: EFA-AR
Adopted: December 9, 2005

Local Wellness Program

The district will promote district and community based activities that foster healthy eating and create environments that provide opportunities for physical activity. Families and the community will be encouraged to provide healthy food choices in all situations where food is served. Educational workshops, health screenings and literature related to healthy food choices and physical activity may be offered to families.

The district’s comprehensive age-appropriate nutrition program will be implemented in district schools in accordance with the following requirements:


1. “Competitive foods” means any food or drink sold in competition with the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP) in food service areas during the meal periods;

2. “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” means the current set of recommendations of the federal government that are designed to help people choose diets that will meet nutrient requirements, promote health, support active lives and reduce chronic disease risks;

3. “Nutrition education” means a planned sequential instructional program that provides knowledge and teaches skills to help students adopt and maintain lifelong healthy eating habits;

4. “Foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV)” means:

a. In the case of artificially sweetened foods, a food which provides less than five percent of the Reference Daily Intakes (RDI) for each of eight specified nutrients per serving; and
b. In the case of all other foods, a food which provides less than five percent of the RDI for each of eight specified nutrients per 100 calories and less than five percent of the RDI for each of eight specified nutrients per serving. The eight nutrients to be assessed for this purpose are - protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, calcium and iron;
c. Food that is classified into four categories:

(1) Carbonated soft drinks;
(2) Chewing gum;
(3) Water ices; and
(4) Certain candies made predominantly from sweeteners such as hard candy, licorice, jelly beans, gum drops, marshmallows, fondant, cotton candy and candy-coated popcorn.

5. “Food service area” means any area on school premises where NSLP or SBP meals are both served and eaten, as well as any areas in which NSLP or SBP meals are either served or eaten;

6. “Meal period” means the period(s) during which breakfast or lunch meals are served and eaten, and as identified on the school schedule.

Nutrition Education and Awareness

Nutrition education shall focus on students’ eating behaviors, be based on theories and methods proven effective by research and be consistent with state and local district health education standards. Nutrition education at all levels of the district’s curriculum shall include, but not be limited to, the following essential components designed to help students learn:

1.  Age-appropriate nutritional knowledge, including the benefits of healthy eating, essential nutrients, nutritional deficiencies, principles of healthy weight management, the use and misuse of dietary supplements, safe food preparation, handling and storage and cultural diversity related to food and eating;
2.  Age-appropriate nutrition-related skills, including, but not limited to, planning a healthy meal, understanding and using food labels and critically evaluating nutrition information, misinformation and commercial food advertising; and
3.  How to assess one’s personal eating habits, set goals for improvement and achieve those goals.

The district will encourage the following activities in an attempt to promote local wellness: Annual Screening by a RN, Scoliosis screenings, Assemblies targeting specific health issues (ie obesity and related diseases, nutrition and healthy eating, physical activity and its health benefits), fundraising activities that do not use food, intramural sports, school wide monthly walks, and support groups for overweight students.

In order to reinforce and support district nutrition education efforts, the building principal is responsible for ensuring:

1.  Nutrition instruction is closely coordinated with the school’s nutrition and food services operation and other components of the school health program to reinforce messages on healthy eating. To maximize classroom time, nutrition concepts shall be integrated into the instruction of other subject areas where possible;
2.  Links with nutrition service providers (e.g., qualified public health and nutrition professionals) are established to: provide screening, referral and counseling for nutritional problems; inform families about supplemental nutritional services available in the community (e.g., food stamps, local food pantries, summer food services program, child and adult care food program), and implement nutrition education and promotion activities for school staff, Board members and parents;
3.  In keeping with the district’s nutrition program goals, all classroom reward or incentive programs involving food items are reviewed for approval to ensure that the foods served meet the requirements of the district’s nutrition policy and regulation (i.e., all foods served fit in a healthy diet as recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and contribute to the development of lifelong healthy eating habits for the district’s students).

Physical Activity

In order to insure students are afforded the opportunity to engage in physical activity in the school setting, the district will provide the following amounts of physical education per week: Kindergarten-fifth grade students 150 minutes, sixth-eighth grade student 225 minutes and high school students 1 credit.

Nutrition Guidelines and Food Services Operation

In order to support the school’s nutrition and food services operation as an essential partner in the educational mission of the district and its role in the district’s comprehensive nutrition program, the building principal is responsible for ensuring:

1. The school encourages all students to participate in the school’s NSLP meal opportunities;

2. The school notifies families of need-based programs for free or reduced-price meals and encourages eligible families to apply;

3. The school’s NSLP maintains the confidentiality of students and families applying for or receiving free or reduced-priced meals in accordance with the National School Lunch Act;

4. The school’s NSLP operates to meet nutrition standards in accordance with the Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994 as amended and applicable state laws and regulations;

5. The school sells or serves varied and nutritious food choices consistent with the applicable federal government Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
6. Food prices set by the district are communicated to students and parents. District pricing strategies will encourage students to purchase full meals and nutritious items;

7. Procedures are in place for providing to families, on request, information about the ingredients and nutritional value of the foods served;

8. Modified meals are prepared for students with special food needs:

a. The district will provide substitute foods to students with disabilities upon written parental permission and a medical statement by a physician that identifies the student’s disability, states why the disability restricts the student’s diet, identifies the major life activity affected by the disability, and states the food or foods to be omitted and the food or choice of foods that must be substituted;
b. Such food substitutions will be made for students without disabilities on a case-by-case basis when the parent submits a signed request that includes a medical statement signed by a physician, physician assistant, registered dietitian or nurse practitioner. The medical statement must state the medical condition or special dietary need that restricts the student’s diet and provide a list of food(s) that may be substituted in place of the lunch or breakfast menu being served.

9. Food service equipment and facilities meet applicable local and state standards concerning health, safe food preparation, handling and storage, drinking water, sanitation and workplace safety;

10. Students are provided adequate time and space to eat meals in a pleasant and safe environment. School dining areas will be reviewed to ensure:

11. The guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act (42 U.S.C. 1779) and sections 9(f)(1) and 17(a) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1758(f)(1), 1766(a)), as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.

Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV) and Competitive Food Sales

In keeping with federal regulations, the district controls the sale of FMNV and all competitive foods.

The district recognizes that federal government standards requiring schools to provide NSLP meals consistent with applicable Dietary Guidelines for Americans do not apply to competitive foods sold or served outside the food service areas as defined in this regulation.

The sale of all other foods in competition with the district’s NSLP meals shall not be permitted in school food service areas during school meal periods.

District schools are directed to monitor the sale of FMNV before or after school meal periods to ensure that such foods do not interfere on a consistent basis with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Staff Development

1.Ongoing preservice and professional development training opportunities are required in the district’s professional development plan. Staff responsible for nutrition education will participate in professional development activities to effectively deliver the nutrition education program as planned. Nutrition and food services personnel receive opportunities to participate in professional development activities that address strategies for promoting healthy eating behavior, food safety, maintaining safe, orderly and pleasant eating environments and other topics directly relevant to the employee’s job duties.

Family and Community Involvement

In order to promote family and community involvement in supporting and reinforcing nutrition education in the schools, the building principal is responsible for ensuring:

1. Nutrition education materials and cafeteria menus are sent home with students;

2. Parents are encouraged to send healthy snacks/meals to school;

3. Parents and other family members are invited to periodically eat with their student in the cafeteria;

4. Nutrition education homework that students can do with their families is assigned (e.g., reading and interpreting food labels, reading nutrition-related newsletters, preparing healthy recipes, etc.);

5. School staff are encouraged to cooperate with other agencies and community groups to provide opportunities for student volunteer or paid work related to nutrition, as appropriate.

Program Evaluation

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the local wellness program in promoting healthy eating, increased physical activity among students and to implement program changes as necessary to increase its effectiveness, the superintendent or designee is responsible for ensuring:

1. Board policy and this administrative regulation are implemented as written;

2. All building, grade-level nutrition education curricula and materials are assessed for accuracy, completeness, balance and consistency with state and local district educational goals and standards;

3. Nutrition education is provided throughout the student’s school years as part of the district’s age-appropriate, comprehensive nutrition program;

4. Teachers deliver nutrition education through age-appropriate, culturally relevant, participatory activities that include social learning strategies and activities;

5. Teachers and school nutrition and food services personnel have undertaken joint project planning and action;

6. Teachers have received curriculum-specific training; and

7. Families and community organizations are involved, to the extent practicable, in nutrition education.