School Wellness Policy
A mission of Mitchell Public Schools (“District”) is to provide curriculum, instruction, and experiences in a health-promoting school environment to instill habits of lifelong learning and health. Therefore, the Board adopts the following School Wellness Policy.
1. District Wellness Committee
Committee Role and Membership
The District will convene a representative District Wellness Committee (“DWC”) or work within an existing school health committee 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 District wellness policy.
The DWC membership will represent all school levels and include (to the extent possible), but not be limited to: parents and caregivers; students; representatives of the school nutrition program; physical education teachers; health education teachers; school health professionals or staff; mental health and social services staff; school administrators; school board members; and the general public. When possible, membership will also include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education coordinators. To the extent possible, the DWC will include representatives from each school building and reflect the diversity of the community.
The Superintendent or designee(s) will convene the DWC and facilitate development of and updates to the wellness policy, and will ensure each school’s compliance with the policy.
Each school will designate a school wellness policy coordinator, who will ensure compliance with the policy.
2. Wellness Policy Implementation, Monitoring, Accountability and Community Engagement
The District will develop and maintain a plan for implementation to manage and coordinate the execution of this wellness policy. The plan delineates roles, responsibilities, actions and timelines specific to each school; and includes information about who will be responsible to make what change, by how much, where and when; as well as specific goals and objectives for nutrition standards for all foods and beverages available on the school campus, food and beverage marketing, nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, physical education and other school-based activities that promote student wellness. It is recommended that the school use the Healthy Schools Program online tools to complete a school-level assessment based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s School Health Index, create an action plan that fosters implementation and generate an annual progress report.
This wellness policy and the progress reports can be found at the District’s website.
The District will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the wellness policy at the Superintendent’s office and/or on the District’s computer network. Documentation maintained in this location will include but will not be limited to:
§ The written wellness policy;
§ Documentation demonstrating that the policy has been made available to the public;
§ Documentation of efforts to review and update the Local Schools Wellness Policy; including an indication of who is involved in the update and methods the district uses to make stakeholders aware of their ability to participate on the DWC;
§ Documentation to demonstrate compliance with the annual public notification requirements;
§ The most recent assessment on the implementation of the local school wellness policy;
§ Documentation demonstrating the most recent assessment on the implementation of the Local School Wellness Policy has been made available to the public.
Annual Notification of Policy
The District will actively inform families and the public each year of basic information about this policy, including its content, any updates to the policy and implementation status. The District will make this information available via the District website and/or district-wide communications. The District will provide as much information as possible about the school nutrition environment. This will include a summary of the District’s events or activities related to wellness policy implementation. Annually, the District will also publicize the name and contact information of the District officials leading and coordinating the committee, as well as information on how the public can get involved with the school wellness committee.
Triennial Progress Assessments
At least once every three years, the District will evaluate compliance with the wellness policy to assess the implementation of the policy and include:
§ The extent to which the District’s schools are in compliance with the wellness policy;
§ The extent to which the District’s wellness policy compares to [a]the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s model wellness policy; and
§ A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the District’s wellness policy.
The position/person responsible for managing the triennial assessment and contact information is the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee.
The DWC, in collaboration with individual schools, will monitor schools’ compliance with this wellness policy.
The District will actively notify households/families of the availability of the triennial progress report.
Revisions and Updating the Policy
The DWC will update or modify the wellness policy based on the results of the annual School Health Index and triennial assessments and/or as District priorities change; community needs change; wellness goals are met; new health science, information, and technology emerges; and new Federal or state guidance or standards are issued. The wellness policy will be assessed and updated as indicated at least every three years, following the triennial assessment.
Community Involvement, Outreach and Communications
The District is committed to being responsive to community input, which begins with awareness of the wellness policy. The District will actively communicate ways in which representatives of DWC and others can participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of the wellness policy through a variety of means appropriate for that district.The District will also inform parents of the improvements that have been made to school meals and compliance with school meal standards, availability of child nutrition programs and how to apply, and a description of and compliance with Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. The District will use electronic mechanisms, such as email or displaying notices on the District’s website, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, presentations to parents, or sending information home to parents, to ensure that all families are actively notified of the content of, implementation of, and updates to the wellness policy, as well as how to get involved and support the policy. The District will ensure that communications are culturally and linguistically appropriate to the community, and accomplished through means similar to other ways that the District and individual schools are communicating important school information with parents.
The District will actively notify the public about the content of or any updates to the wellness policy annually, at a minimum.The District will also use these mechanisms to inform the community about the availability of the annual and triennial reports.
The District 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 District that participate in USDA child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), and any additional Federal child nutrition programs will meet the nutrition requirements of such programs.The District may also operate additional nutrition-related programs and activities. All schools within the District 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 served in clean and pleasant settings;
§ Meet or exceed current nutrition requirements established by local, state, and Federal statutes and regulations. (The District 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.
− Daily fruit options are displayed in a location in the line of sight and reach of 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.
− White milk is placed in front of other beverages in all coolers.
− 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,snack rooms, etc.).
− Student artwork is displayed in the service and/or dining areas.
− Daily announcements are used to promote and market menu options.
Staff Qualifications and Professional Development
All school nutrition program directors, managers and staff will meet or exceed hiring and annual continuing education/training requirements in the USDA professional standards for child nutrition professionals. These school nutrition personnel will refer to USDA’s Professional Standards for School Nutrition Standards website to search for training that meets their learning needs.
To promote hydration, free, safe, unflavored drinking water will be available to all students throughout the school day and throughout every school campus (“school campus”and “school day” are defined in the glossary).The District will make drinking water available where school meals are served during meal times.
Competitive Foods and Beverages
The District 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 standards or, if the state policy is stronger, will meet or exceed state nutrition standards. 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.
Celebrations and Rewards
All foods offered on the school campus will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards or, if the state policy is stronger, will meet or exceed state nutrition standards, including through:
1. Celebrations and parties. The District will provide a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.
2. Classroom snacks brought by parents. The District will provide parents a list of foods and beverages that meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards.
3. Rewards and incentives. The District will provide teachers and other relevant school staff a list of alternative rewards for children. Foods and beverages can be used as a reward, on a limited basis, as long as they meet the Smart Snack nutrition standards.
Foods and beverages that meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards may be sold through fundraisers on the school campus during the school day. Food and beverages that do not meet the Smart Snack nutrition standards can be sold through fundraisers as long as they are sold after school hours.
Nutrition promotion and education positively influence lifelong eating behaviors by using evidence-based techniques and nutrition messages, and by creating food environments that encourage healthy nutrition choices and encourage participation in school meal programs. Students and staff will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout schools, classrooms, gymnasiums, and cafeterias. Nutrition promotion also includes marketing and advertising nutritious foods and beverages to students and is most effective when implemented consistently through a comprehensive and multi-channel approach by school staff, teachers, parents, students and the community.
The District will promote healthy food and beverage choices for all students throughout the school campus, as well as encourage participation in school meal programs. This promotion will occur through:
§ Implementing at least ten or more evidence-based healthy food promotion techniques through the school meal programs using Smarter Lunchroom techniques; and
§ Ensuring 100% of foods and beverages promoted to students meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
The District 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 subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences and elective subjects;
§ Includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant and participatory activities, such as cooking demonstrations or lessons, promotions, taste-testing, farm visits and school gardens;
§ 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, school gardens, Farm to School programs, other school foods and nutrition-related community services;
§ Teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food and beverage marketing; and
§ Includes nutrition education training for teachers and other staff.
Essential Healthy Eating Topics in Health Education
The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 of the following essential topics on healthy eating:
§ Relationship between healthy eating and personal health and disease prevention
§ Food guidance from MyPlate
§ Reading and using FDA's nutrition fact labels
§ Eating a variety of foods every day
§ Balancing food intake and physical activity
§ Eating more fruits, vegetables and wholegrain 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
§ Eating more calcium-rich foods
§ Preparing healthy meals and snacks
§ Risks of unhealthy weight control practices
§ Accepting body size differences
§ Food safety
§ Importance of water consumption
§ Importance of eating breakfast
§ Making healthy choices when eating at restaurants
§ Eating disorders
§ The Dietary Guidelines for Americans
§ Reducing sodium intake
§ 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 District 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 District 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 District property that contains messages inconsistent with the health information the District is imparting through nutrition education and health promotion efforts. It is the intent of the District 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 District’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 or, if stronger, state nutrition standards, such that only those foods that comply with or exceed those nutrition standards are permitted to be marketed or promoted to students.
Food and beverage marketing is defined as advertising and other promotions in schools. Food and beverage marketing often includes 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.This term includes, but is not limited to the following:
§ Brand names, trademarks, logos or tags, except when placed on a physically present food or beverage product or its container.
§ Displays, such as on vending machine exteriors
§ Corporate brand, logo, name or trademark on school equipment, such as marquees, message boards, scoreboards or backboards (Note: immediate replacement of these items are not required; however, districts will replace or update scoreboards or other durable equipment when existing contracts are up for renewal or to the extent that it is financially possible over time so that items are in compliance with the marketing policy.)
§ Corporate brand, logo, name or trademark on cups used for beverage dispensing, menu boards, coolers, trash cans and other food service equipment; as well as on posters, book covers, pupil assignment books or school supplies displayed, distributed, offered or sold by the District.
§ Advertisements in school publications or school mailings.
§ Free product samples, taste tests or coupons of a product, or free samples displaying advertising of a product.
As the District/school nutrition services/Athletics Department/PTA/PTO reviews existing contracts and considers new contracts, equipment and product purchasing (and replacement) decisions should reflect the applicable marketing guidelines established by the District wellness policy.
4. Physical Activity
Children and adolescents should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. A substantial percentage of students’ physical activity can be provided through a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP). A CSPAP reflects strong coordination and synergy across all of the components: quality physical education as the foundation; physical activity before, during and after school; staff involvement and family and community engagement and the District is committed to providing these opportunities. Schools will ensure that these varied physical activity opportunities are in addition to, and not as a substitute for, physical education (addressed in “Physical Education” subsection). All schools in the District will be encouraged to participate in Let’s Move! Active Schools (www.letsmoveschools.org), or comparable program, in order to successfully address all CSPAP areas.
Physical activity during the school day (including but not limited to recess, classroom physical activity breaks or physical education) will not be withheld as punishment. The District will provide teachers and other school staff with a list of ideas or resources for alternative ways to discipline students.
To the extent practicable, the District will ensure that its grounds and facilities are safe and that equipment is available to students to be active. The District will conduct necessary inspections and repairs.
The District 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 District will make appropriate accommodations to allow for equitable participation for all students and will adapt physical education classes and equipment as necessary.
All elementary students in each grade will receive physical education for at least 60-89 minutes per week throughout the school year.
All secondary students (middle and high school) are required to take the equivalent of two academic years of physical education.
The District’s physical education program will promote student physical fitness through individualized fitness and activity assessments (via the Presidential Youth Fitness Program or other appropriate assessment tool) and will use criterion-based reporting for each student.
Essential Physical Activity Topics in Health Education
Health education will be required in all elementary grades and the District will require middle and high school students to take and pass at least one health education course. The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 of 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. Exceptions may be made as appropriate, such as on early dismissal or late arrival days. If recess is offered before lunch, schools will have appropriate hand-washing facilities and/or hand-sanitizing mechanisms located just inside/outside the cafeteria to ensure proper hygiene prior to eating and students are required to use these mechanisms before eating. Hand-washing time, as well as time to put away coats/hats/gloves, will be built into the recess transition period/timeframe before students enter the cafeteria.
Outdoor recess will be offered when weather and other conditions make it feasible for outdoor play.
In the event that recess must be held indoors, teachers and staff will follow the indoor recess guidelines that promote physical activity for students, to the extent practicable.
Recess will complement, not substitute, physical education class. Recess monitors or teachers will encourage students to be active.
Classroom Physical Activity Breaks (Elementary and Secondary)
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 District 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.
The District will provide resources and links to resources, tools, and technology with ideas for classroom physical activity breaks. Resources and ideas are available through the USDA and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
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.
The District will support classroom teachers incorporating physical activity and employing kinesthetic learning approaches into core subjects. Teachers will serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students whenever feasible.
Before and After School Activities
The District offers opportunities for students to participate in physical activity either before and/or after the school day through a variety of methods. The District will encourage students to be physically active before and after school.
The District will support active transport to and from school, such as walking or biking.The District will encourage this behavior by requiring that its schools engage in six or more of the activities below, to be selected by each school administration; including but not limited to:
§ Designate safe or preferred routes to school
§ Promote activities such as participation in International Walk to School Week and National Walk and Bike to School Week
§ Instruction on walking/bicycling safety provided to students
§ Promote safe routes program to students, staff, and parents via newsletters, websites, local newspaper
§ Use crossing guards
§ Use crosswalks on streets leading to schools
§ Create and distribute maps of school environment (e.g., sidewalks, crosswalks, roads, pathways, bike racks, etc.)
5. Other Activities that Promote Student Wellness
The District will integrate wellness activities across the entire school setting, not just in the cafeteria, other food and beverage venues and physical activity facilities. The District will coordinate and integrate other initiatives related to physical activity, physical education, nutrition and other wellness components so all efforts are complementary, not duplicative, and work towards the same set of goals and objectives promoting student well-being, optimal development and strong educational outcomes.
Schools in the District 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 District’s curriculum experts.
All efforts related to obtaining federal, state or association recognition for efforts, or grants/funding opportunities for healthy school environments will be coordinated with and complementary of the wellness policy, including but not limited to ensuring the involvement of the DWC.
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 District will develop, enhance, or continue relationships with community partners (e.g., hospitals, universities/colleges, local businesses, SNAP-Ed providers and coordinators, etc.) 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 District 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 District will use electronic mechanisms (e.g., email or displaying notices on the District’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.
Staff Wellness and Health Promotion
The DWC will have a staff wellness subcommittee that focuses on staff wellness issues, identifies and disseminates wellness resources and performs other functions that support staff wellness in coordination with human resources staff.
Schools in the District will implement strategies to support staff in actively promoting and modeling healthy eating and physical activity behaviors. The District promotes staff member participation in health promotion programs and will support programs for staff members on healthy eating/weight management that are accessible and free or low-cost.
When feasible, the District 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 District staff understand the connections between academics and health and the ways in which health and wellness are integrated into ongoing district reform or academic improvement plans/efforts.
School Campus:areas that are owned or leased by the school and used at any time for school-related activities, including on the outside of the school building, school buses or other vehicles used to transport students, athletic fields and stadiums (e.g., on scoreboards, coolers, cups, and water bottles), or parking lots.
School Day:the time between midnight the night before to 30 minutes after the end of the instructional day.
Triennial – recurring every three years.
Legal Reference: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, 42 U.S.C. section 1758b; 7 CFR sections 210.11 and 210.30; National School Lunch Program, 42 U.S.C sections 1751-1760, 1770; Regulations and Procedures for Accreditation of Schools, NDE Rule 10
A. Date of Adoption: [Insert Date]
Approved _______________ Reviewed _______________ Revised _______________