District Wellness Policy

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                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 habits and physical activity.  The District has established a Wellness Committee to develop the District's proposed local wellness policy.  The District's Wellness Committee includes, but is not limited to, representatives from each of the following groups:

    • Parents
    • Students
    • Teachers
    • The District's food service program
    • The School Board
    •  School administrators
    • Members of the public
    • School Nurse

    The District Wellness Committee has assessed current activities, programs and policies available in the District; identified specific areas of need within the District; developed the policy; and provided mechanisms for implementation, evaluation, revision and updating of the policy.  The Wellness Committee has been established to represent the local community’s perspective in developing the wellness policy for the District. 

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    Goals to Promote Student Wellness

    Taking into account the parameters of the School District (NYS Standards, 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:

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    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 guidelines for each of the following areas:

    a) Classroom teaching: 

      • The K-12 curriculum will offer at each grade level a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health.  This teaching will not only be part of the health education class curriculum, but also appropriately integrated into classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, home & careers and elective subjects.
      • The curriculum will emphasize the caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure.
      • The curriculum will include enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste-testings, farm visits, and cultivation of school gardens.
      • The curriculum will include the teaching of media literacy (e.g., understanding food promotion on TV, radio and in print media) using examples from the food marketing industry.

    b) Presence of marketing on school premises:

    • Marketing on school premises (e.g. signs posted in the cafeteria and on vending machines) will be consistent with nutrition education and the promotion of good health.  The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices will be consistently encouraged.
    • Marketing on school premises will reflect the standards of the school meal programs, other foods vended on school premises, and nutrition-related community services.
    c) Teacher training:  
    • Professional development for teaching staff will include wellness training for teachers.
    • The District shall also conduct a campaign to raise teachers’ awareness concerning the importance of integrating nutrition education into their classroom lessons, the availability of nutrition education curriculum, how to access these materials and opportunities for nutrition education training.
    d) Sports Programs:
    • During pre-training sessions, the coaches will provide nutrition information specifically related to that sport.
    • Coaches will stress the correlation between exercise and good nutrition.

    Physical Education

    The District will provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities to maintain physical fitness, regularly participate in physical activity, and understand the short-term and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthy lifestyle. The Wellness Committee has determined that guidelines are necessary to achieve this goal for each of the following areas:

    a) Physical education graduation requirements:

    • The high school will have 120 minutes of Physical Education per 6-day cycle for four years (2 credits @ .5 per year).
    b) Physical education class requirements:
    • Kindergarteners will have 75 minutes of physical education per 6-day cycle.
    • Grades 1-4 will have 80 minutes of physical education per 6-day cycle.
    • Grade 5 will have 120 minutes of physical education per 6-day cycle.
    • Grades 6-12 will have 120 minutes of physical education per 6-day cycle.
    • Because of the safety issues involved in large group physical activities, every effort will be made to keep the ratio of teachers to students to 1:25 in physical education classes.
    • In the high school every effort shall be made to adhere to the following limits:
      • 25 students per teaching station with one certified Physical Education teacher; and
      • 2 teaching stations per gymnasium.
    • Classroom teachers are encouraged to incorporate physical activities into curriculum, whenever possible.
    • Appropriate physical education and activities will be provided to students with special needs.

    c) Staff training/certification for physical education:

    • An instructor of any physical education class should have the appropriate licenses to teach that class.
    • PE and other staff will receive ongoing, high quality professional development to keep abreast of new research and development on wellness issues.

    d) Student/staff activity outside of physical education classes:

    • Physical fitness activities will promote healthy living choices and will be promoted through posters, email, bulletin boards, etc.
    • Students will have access to the track before and after school hours; the weight room will be available to students who meet the age requirements for participation.
    • Wellness activities will be promoted through CPR classes, faculty games, and colloquiums.
    • Routinely, the District will review and ensure the availability of extra-curricular opportunities that promote physical activity and foster the development of nutritional awareness.
    School Environment

    The District will foster an environment conducive to student wellness and health maintenance and therefore establishes guidelines for each of the following areas:

    a) Meal Environment

      • At all cafeterias, foods will be regularly available that are sensitive to cultural observances, special dietary needs and dietary observances.
      • All students will have a scheduled lunch period.  This will allow students time to eat with their peers as well as time to engage in physical activities. 
      • Assistant principals, school monitors and lunchtime aides will provide supervision.
      • Behavioral expectations will be developed and reviewed by both students and supervising adults.
      • Students will be encouraged to make healthy choices as per information provided via the home & careers curriculum.
      • Peanut-free areas will be identified in each school cafeteria.

    b) District facilities:

    • School/community access to District facilities will be provided for physical activities.
    • Facilities will be available for use by the staff, free of charge.
    • Classes will be offered through our on-site colloquium that addresses wellness issues.  Staff will receive one in-service credit for attending these series of classes.
    • Families, staff, and community members will have access to the track before and after school hours and the weight room will be available for staff during the school day, subject to availability after students’ needs have been met.

    c) Sustainable food practices:

    • Sustainable food practices may be developed and encouraged after a feasibility study has been completed.
    • All local rules regarding recycling will be followed and containers provided for recycling.
    • A hygienic eating environment conducive to healthy appetite and good eating habits will be maintained in accord with building codes and regulations.
    • Free access to a quality water source for consumption will be provided in accord with building codes and regulations.
    • Products used for service and cleaning will be in accord with environmental standards for Blind Brook and public school buildings.
    d) School/community communications:
    • District standing committees will disseminate information regarding wellness.  Parents and community residents will be members of these committees.
    • Information regarding wellness activities will be disseminated through the use of broadcast e-mail and the principals’ newsletters.
    • Community residents will be invited to participate on the Nutrition Committee.
    • NYS-certified dieticians/nutritionists will conduct workshops/seminars.
    • The Wellness Policy will be publicized through the District website.

    e) Social and emotional environment:

    • Staff development will be provided during faculty meetings/superintendent’s conference days in such subjects as identifying eating disorders and stress management.
    • A character education curriculum will be implemented throughout K-12.
    • The District’s Code of Conduct will be disseminated at the beginning of each school year.  The Summary of the Code will be mailed home to each family in the district.
    • Programs will be developed that introduce students to a variety of activities and techniques that will promote and sustain stress reduction and healthy life choices.
    Nutrition Guidelines

    The District Wellness Committee recommends the following nutrition standards for all foods available on 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.

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    Nutritional Value of Foods and Beverages Served and/or Sold on School Premises

    a) 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:

    • Calories from total fat – the goal is to serve food that will have no more than 30% of its calories from fat (excluding nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and other nut butters) and 10% of its calories from saturated fats.
    • Trans fat – the district will not sell any food products that contain Trans fat.
    • Total sugar – will have no more than 35% of its weight from added sugars.
    • Whole grain – will ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.
    • Portion size – will follow the FDA guidelines.
    • Fruits and vegetables - will serve a choice of several fruits and non-fried vegetables at lunch time.
    • Beverages –
      • soft drinks will not be sold to students or served to students in school or during school hours,
      • juice beverages must contain at least 25% real fruit juice,
      • all water or flavored waters will be without artificial sweeteners or caffeine and 
      • Sports drinks are allowed.
    • Milk:  only low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk will be served.
    • Candy will not be sold or served.

    b) Nutrition information for products sold on campus will be readily available near the point of purchase.

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    School/Community Celebrations and Food-Related Fundraising on/off School Premises

    Building administrators are responsible for monitoring the frequency and offerings at celebrations, fundraising activities and school-sponsored events.

    a) Celebrations:

    • Parents, guardians and teachers will be encouraged to provide only food and beverages that meet the above-mentioned nutritional guidelines.
    b)       Fundraising activities and school-sponsored events:
    • The use of wholesome foods for and during fundraising activities will be encouraged.

    c)      Rewards

    • Teachers will not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the above-mentioned nutritional guidelines for foods and beverages, as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.

    Implementation and Evaluation of the Wellness Policy

    The District's Wellness Policy will become effective 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 Superintendent shall designate the Director of Physical/Health Education and Interscholastic Athletics to have operational responsibility for ensuring that the District meets the goals and mandates of its local wellness policy.  The Director shall establish a school wellness policy team whose membership may include, but not be limited to:  administrators, school health personnel (including the school nurse and the health and/or physical education teacher), school food service director, parents and students, to establish and implement an evaluation plan for the wellness policy in order to monitor the effectiveness of the policy and the possible need for further modification over time.

                The Director of Physical/Health Education and Interscholastic Athletics shall report semi-annually to the Superintendent on the District's compliance with the wellness policy, and the Superintendent shall inform the Board of such findings.  The Superintendent 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 parent-teacher organizations, building principals, and school health services personnel within the District.  The report shall also be available to community residents upon request.

                The Director of Physical/Health Education and Interscholastic Athletics 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 links 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, web sites, or "point-of-purchase" materials.

    Assessments of the District's wellness policy and implementation efforts may be repeated on an annual basis, but shall 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, recommend revisions to 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

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    Adoption Date:   June 12, 2006