File: ADF-R

WELLNESS POLICY ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND NUTRITION

REGULATIONS

I. School District Wellness Committe

The school district wellness committee will recommend, review and implement school district policies addressing school nutrition, education, physical activity and related issues that affect student health.   The committee shall include at a minimum, representatives from a wide range of school health and health-related disciplines, including school nurses, school nutrition and physical activity staff, community agencies serving youth, parents, students, and the school committee.  West Springfield Public Schools (WSPS) are committed to providing a consistent message that student health is a priority.  

II. Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on Campus

 

WSPS share the Massachusetts School Nutrition Standards Objective which is to provide the opportunity for children to consume whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy.

 

School Meals:   Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:

 

·         be appealing and attractive to children;

·         be served in clean and pleasant settings;

·         meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;

·         offer a variety of fruits and vegetables at any location where food is sold but not including non-refrigerated vending machines or vending machines dispensing only beverages;2

·         serve no more than  1% low fat milk3 and nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA);

·         all bread and other grain-based products must be whole grain (i.e. whole grain should be listed first in the ingredient statement) and

·         plain potable water will be made readily available to all students during the day at no cost.

When possible, schools should actively market healthy items that are offered, exposing students to a variety of fruits and vegetables, engaging students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. Fresh produce, directly from local farmers will be incorporated whenever practicable.  In addition, schools should share information about the nutritional content of meals with staff, students, and parents. Such information could be made available on menus, a website, on cafeteria menu boards, placards, or other point-of-purchase materials.  By August 1, 2013, WSPS Food Services will make nutrition information available to students for competitive food sources (i.e., a la carte, vending, school store) and beverages served in the cafeteria.

Breakfast. To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:

·         Schools will utilize methods to serve school breakfasts that encourage participation including serving breakfast, "grab-and-go" breakfast, or breakfast during morning break or recess.

·         Schools that serve breakfast to students will notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program.

·         Schools will encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.

Free and Reduced-priced Meals. Schools will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals5. Toward this end, schools may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; promote the availability of school meals to all students; and/or use nontraditional methods for serving school meals, such as "grab-and-go" or classroom breakfast.

Meal Times and Scheduling. Schools will, to the extent possible:

·         will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;

·         should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, (i.e., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.);

·         should not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;

·         will try to schedule lunch periods to follow recess periods, (in elementary schools);

·         will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; 

·         will take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).

Food Safety:   Food preparation and all foods and beverages sold or provided to students will meet all applicable state and federal food safety requirements.

Allergy safety:  WSPS is a peanut safe district.  All cafeteria personnel are allergy/epi pen trained.  All student allergies are tagged in POS with allergy information provided by the school nurse.  There is a Servsafe Certified Employee in every cafeteria.

Qualifications of School Food Service Staff. Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs. As part of the school district's responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals in schools. Staff development programs should include appropriate certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, school nutrition managers, and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.6

Sharing of Foods and Beverages. Schools should discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other dietary restrictions.  
 

 

Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, cafeteria a la carte [snack] lines, fundraisers, school stores, etc.)

 

 

 

Elementary Schools. The school food service program will approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students in elementary schools. Foods should be sold as balanced meals.  . If available, foods and beverages sold individually should be limited to low-fat and non-fat milk, fruits, and non-fried vegetables.  Choices of fruits and vegetables will be made available daily.

Middle and High Schools. In middle/junior high and high schools, all foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs (including those sold through a la carte [snack] lines, vending machines, [foods and beverages sold in vending machines must comply with the standards at all times] student stores, or fundraising activities) during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day, will meet the following nutrition and portion size standards:

·         Beverages

·         Allowed: water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners; 4 oz. serving of 100% fruit and vegetable juices ;  8 oz. 1% fluid milk, fat-free fluid milk and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by USDA);

·         Not allowed: soft drinks containing caloric sweeteners; iced teas; fruit-based drinks that contain less than 100% real fruit; No beverages other than juice, milk, milk substitutes and water will be sold or provided.

·         Foods

·        Nutrition information will be available for non-pre-packaged foods and beverages by August 1, 2013.  (This shall not apply to fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, and food sold during the school day at booster sales, concession stands, and other school-sponsored or school-related fundraisers and events.)

·        Fryolaters will not be used in the preparation of competitive foods.

·        A choice of at least two fruits and/or vegetables will be offered for sale at any location on the school site where foods are sold daily.  Such items could include, but are not limited to, fresh fruits and vegetables; 100% fruit or vegetable juice; cooked,  dried, or canned fruits (canned in fruit juice or light syrup); and cooked, dried, or canned vegetables (that meet the above fat and sodium guidelines).8

·        A food item sold individually:

§         will have no more than 35% of its calories from fat (excluding seeds, and sun butters) and 10% of its calories from saturated fat; all foods should be trans fat free.

§         will have no more than 35% of its total weight from total sugar except for non-fat and low-fat yogurt which contains a maximum of 30 grams of total sugar per 8 oz. packaged serving and 100% fruit with no added sugars;9

§         will contain no more than 230 mg of sodium per item, with the exception of a la carte entrees, which shall not contain more than 480 mg. of sodium per item:

§         all bread and other grain-based products shall be whole grain

            Foods and Beverages

     No food or beverage shall contain an artificial sweetener

     No food or beverage shall contain more than trace amounts of caffeine

     A packaged item may contain no more than one serving per package

 

Fundraising Activities (includes, but not limited to PTO, School Council, Band, Sports Teams). To support children's health and school nutrition-education efforts, school fundraising activities will be limited to no more than one food-based fundraiser per school per year (to be determined by the principal)  or will use only foods that meet the above nutrition and portion size standards for foods and beverages sold individually. The school district will make available a list of ideas for acceptable fundraising activities.   There will be no bake sales allowed.

Snacks. Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children's diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and low fat milk or water as the primary beverage. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children's nutritional needs, children's ages, and other considerations. The district will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.

  • If eligible, schools that provide snacks through after-school programs will pursue receiving reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program.

Rewards.  Food and beverages should not be used as rewards or discipline for academic performance or behavior. All students will be allowed to re-hydrate after physical activity, including recess and physical education. Candy will not be given to students.

Celebrations. Classroom parties should not have a food focus.  Schools should limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per term.  In order to promote a healthy school environment throughout the entire day, the Massachusetts School Nutrition Standards apply to all settings, at all times, including classroom lessons and parties, therefore,  the district will provide a list of foods suggested for celebrations.  Schools found to be in violation will be required to purchase food through food services.

School-sponsored Events (such as, but not limited to, athletic events, dances, or performances). It is strongly encouraged that school-sponsored events will offer choices that meet nutritional guidelines. 

 

 

III. Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing

 

Nutrition Education and Promotion.  The WSPS aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

·         is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health by September 1, 2013;

·         if a health teacher is not available at the elementary level, some aspects of health will be integrated into physical education, and other components will be taught by the primary teacher  by September 1, 2013;

·         is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects by September 1, 2013;

·         includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, well rounded, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens when possible;

·         promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;

·         emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise) for secondary school students by September 1, 2013;

·         links with school meal programs, other school foods & nutrition-related community services;

·         links with MS and HS Family & Consumer Science  and food lab in following the nutritional recommendations as outlined by September 1, 2013.

Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting. For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward that end:


·         classroom health education will complement physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically-active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television;

·         if possible, opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons;

·         recommend that classroom teachers provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.

Communications with Parents. The district/school will support parents' efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The district/school may offer healthy eating seminars for parents, send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on school websites, and provide nutrient analyses of school menus. Schools should encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages.

The district/school will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day; and support parents' efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school. Such supports may include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, or special events.

Staff Wellness. The WSPS highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Each school should establish and maintain a building-based wellness committee, which should develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness. The plan should be based on input solicited from school staff and should outline ways to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle among school staff. The building-based  wellness committee should distribute its plan to the school health council annually.  The WSPS staff members are encouraged to model healthy eating behaviors for all students.  

 

IV. Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

 

Physical Education (P.E.) K-12.   Our school district has made a commitment to improving the physical activity opportunities and physical education of our students.

Physical Activity Benchmarks:

·          45 minutes of recess are offered each day at the  kindergarten level.

·         Minimum of 20 minutes of recess are offered each day at the elementary level 10 minute lunch walk at the Middle School level.

·         At least 3 activity breaks (3-5 minutes) are offered throughout the school day (not including recess or lunch time at the elementary level). At the Middle and High School levels these breaks are considered when changing classes.

·         At the elementary level, the physical education program for each student, meets a minimum of 2  times per week.

·         At the middle school level, all students will have a minimum of one term of physical education; ideally all students would have two terms of physical education.

·         At the high school, all students are required to complete four semesters of physical education, and beginning with the 2015 graduating class, two semesters of physical education.

·         A physical activity program is offered to teachers and staff and organized by the  building-based wellness committee.

 

Physical Education (P.E.) K-12. All students in grades K-12 , including students with disabilities, special health care needs, and in alternative education settings, will receive physical education. It is recommended the offering be a minimum of 2 or more days per week throughout the school year.  Our schools are working toward meeting NASPE guidelines for daily physical education of 150 minutes/week for elementary and 225 minutes/week for middle and high schools students for the entire school year.  All physical education will be taught by a certified physical education teacher.  Student involvement in other activities involving physical activity (i.e., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement.  Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Minimum class time recommended:  K:35 minutes, grades 1-3: 30 minutes, grades 4-5: 45 minutes, Middle School: 45 minutes, and High School: 45 minutes. Currently the schedules vary at the MS and HS and are blocked into terms or semesters, and NASPE guidelines are not being met. The plan is to reassess the schedules and to work toward meeting these guidelines.

Daily Recess.  Ideally, all elementary school students will have recess daily, before lunch. When possible, recess should be held outdoors during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the use of activity prompts posted throughout the school.  Schools should provide equipment for students to use during recess to help them to be moderately to vigorously active.  Schools with limited outdoor space should provide alternative opportunities for students to be moderately to vigorously active in the classroom, hallway, or gymnasium.

Schools should discourage extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity. When activities such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.

Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School. If there is an interest and funding is available, elementary, middle, and high schools will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs. The high school will offer interscholastic sports programs. Schools will offer a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students, including boys, girls, students with disabilities, and students with special health-care needs.

After-School Activity Standards:

·         Whenever possible, an after-school activity program will be encouraged and supported.

·         School social support programs that promote physical activity, such as, “Walking Buddies” and small group activity programs will be encouraged.

·         A newsletter to parents promoting family activities will be sent home or available online, 3 times per year.

·         Evening or weekend school-sponsored programs for parents and students designed to encourage family activity and healthy eating are supported.

Physical Activity and Punishment. Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (i.e., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (i.e., recess, physical education) as punishment.

Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours.  School spaces and facilities should be available to students, staff, and community members before, during, and after the school day.  These spaces and facilities also should be available to community agencies and organizations offering physical activity and nutrition programs.  School policies concerning safety will apply at all times.

 

 

V. Monitoring and Policy Review


Monitoring. The Wellness Advisory Committee will ensure compliance with established district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. In each school, the wellness policy designee or wellness committee, and administrator, will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school's compliance to the superintendent or designee.

School food service staff, at the school or district level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the superintendent (or if done at the school level, to the school principal). In addition, the school district will report on the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes. If the district has not received a SMI review from the state agency within the past five years, the district will request from the state agency that a SMI review be scheduled as soon as possible.

The superintendent or designee will develop a summary report every three years on district-wide compliance with the district's established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within the district. That report will be provided to the school committee and also distributed to all school health councils, parent/teacher organizations, school principals, and school health services personnel in the district.

Policy Review. To help with the initial development of the district's wellness policies, each school in the district will conduct a baseline assessment of the school's existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies.13 The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled at the district level to identify and prioritize needs. Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, the school district will review our nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements. The district, and individual schools within the district, will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.
 

 


References

Healthy Students, Healthy Schools: Guidance for Implementing the Massachusetts School Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages.  Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston Public Health Commission, October 2011.

Massachusetts Best Practice Guidelines for School-Related Physical Education and Physical Activity.  September 2011.

Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework.  Massachusetts Department of Education. October 1999.

Useful self-assessment and planning tools include the School Health Index from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Changing the Scene from the Team Nutrition Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Opportunity to Learn Standards for Elementary, Middle, and High School Physical Education from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

 

Footnotes

 

To the extent possible, schools will offer at least two non-fried vegetable and two fruit options each day and will offer five different fruits and five different vegetables over the course of a week. Schools are encouraged to source fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers when practicable.

3  As recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.

5 It is against the law to make others in the cafeteria aware of the eligibility status of children for free, reduced-price, or "paid" meals.

6 School nutrition staff development programs are available through the USDA, School Nutrition Association, and National Food Service 

   Management Institute.

7Surprisingly, seltzer water may not be sold during meal times in areas of the school where food is sold or eaten because it is considered a "Food of Minimal Nutritional Value" (Appendix B of 7 CFR Part 210).

8 Schools that have vending machines are encouraged to include refrigerated snack vending machines, which can accommodate fruits, vegetables, yogurts, and other perishable items

9 If a food manufacturer fails to provide the added sugars content of a food item, use the percentage of weight from total sugars (in place of the percentage of weight from added sugars), and exempt fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods from this total sugars limit.

10 Unless this practice is allowed by a student's individual education plan (IEP).

13 Useful self-assessment and planning tools include the School Health Index from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Changing the Scene from the Team Nutrition Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Opportunity to Learn Standards for Elementary, Middle, and High School Physical Education from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
 

 

Developed by the Wellness Advisory Committee 10/5/12

Reviewed & revised (in compliance with state and federal regulations by Wellness Advisory Committee

Policy Subcommittee approved 2/14/13