Health and Wellness

WELLNESS POLICY – PINE BLUFF SCHOOL DISTRICT

The health and physical well-being of our students directly affects their ability to learn. Childhood obesity increases the incidence of adult diseases occurring in children and adolescents such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The increased risk carries forward into their adulthood. Research indicates that a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent obesity and the diseases resulting from it. It is understood that the eating habits and exercise patterns of students cannot be magically changed overnight, but at the same time, the Board of Directors believes it is necessary to strive to create a culture in our schools that consistently promotes good nutrition and physical activity.

The problem of obesity and inactivity is a public health issue. The Board of Directors is keenly aware that it has taken years for this problem to reach its present level and will similarly take years to correct. The responsibility for addressing the problem lies not only with the schools and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), but with the community and its residents, organizations and agencies. Therefore, the District shall enlist the support of the larger community to find solutions which improve the health and physical activity of our students.

The health and physical well-being of our students directly affects their ability to learn. Childhood obesity increases the incidence of adult diseases occurring in children and adolescents such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The increased risk carries forward into their adulthood. Research indicates that a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent obesity and the diseases resulting from it. It is understood that the eating habits and exercise patterns of students cannot be magically changed overnight, but at the same time, the Board of Directors believes it is necessary to strive to create a culture in our schools that consistently promotes good nutrition and physical activity.

The problem of obesity and inactivity is a public health issue. The Board of Directors is keenly aware that it has taken years for this problem to reach its present level and will similarly take years to correct. The responsibility for addressing the problem lies not only with the schools and the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), but with the community and its residents, organizations and agencies. Therefore, the District shall enlist the support of the larger community to find solutions which improve the health and physical activity of our students.

Goals

In its efforts to improve the school nutrition environment, promote student health, and reduce childhood obesity, the District will adhere to the ADE Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols. To promote nutrition, physical activity, and other school based activities that will improve student wellness, the District has established the following goals. 1

1. Appoint a district School Health Director (designated as a district official) who shall be responsible for ensuring that each school fulfills the requirements of this policy;2

2. Implement a grade appropriate nutrition education program that will develop an awareness of and appreciation for nutrition and physical activity throughout the curriculum;

3. Enforce existing physical education requirements and engage students in healthy levels of vigorous physical activity;

4. Strive to improve the quality of physical education curricula and increase the training of physical education teachers;

5. Follow the Arkansas Physical Education and Health Education Frameworks in grades K-12;

6. Not use food or beverages as rewards for academic, classroom, or sports performances;

7. Ensure that drinking water is available without charge to all students;

8. Establish class schedules and bus routes that do not directly or indirectly restrict meal access;

9. Provide students with ample time to eat their meals in pleasant cafeteria and dining areas;

10. Establish no more than nine (9) school wide events that permit exceptions to the food and beverage limitations established by Rule. The schedule of the events shall be by school, approved by the principal, and shall be part of the annual school calendar;3

11. Abide by the current allowable food and beverage portion standards;

12. Meet or exceed the more stringent of Arkansas’ or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrition Standards for reimbursable meals and a la’ carte foods served in the cafeteria;4

13. Restrict access to competitive foods as required by law and Rule;

14. Conform new and/or renewed vending contracts to the content restrictions contained in the Rules and reduce district dependence on profits from the sale of competitive foods.

15. Provide professional development to all district staff on the topics of nutrition and/or physical activity;5

16. Utilize the School Health Index available from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to assess how well the district is doing at implementing this wellness policy and at promoting a healthy environment for its students;

Advisory Committee

To enhance the district’s efforts to improve the health of our students, a School Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisory Committee (SNPAAC) shall be formed. It shall be structured in a way that ensures age-appropriate recommendations are made that correlate to our district’s grade configurations. 6The SNPAAC shall have the powers and responsibilities delegated to it by statute and Rule and are incorporated into this policy by reference.7 The overarching goal of the committee shall be to promote student wellness by monitoring how well the district is doing at implementing this policy. The SNPAAC shall use modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 and 11 of the CDC’s School Health Index as a basis for annually assessing each school’s progress toward meeting the requirements of this policy. The results of the annual assessment shall be included in each school’s ACSIP, provided to each school’s principal, and reported to the board. Goals and objectives for nutrition and physical activity shall also be included in the ACSIP.

Members of the District’s Board of Directors, school administrators, school nutrition personnel, teacher organizations, parents, students, professional groups (such as nurses), and community members shall be included in the development, implementation, and periodic review of the District's wellness policy to the extent interested persons from each group desire to be included.8

The SNPAAC shall provide recommendations to the school district concerning menus and other foods sold in the school cafeteria. Such recommendations shall be based, at least in part, on the information the Committee receives from the District on the requirements and standards of the National School Lunch Program and from menus for the National School Lunch Program and other food sold in the school cafeteria on a quarterly basis.9

The District will work with the SNPAAC to:

A. Encourage participation in extracurricular programs that support physical activity, such as walk-to-school programs, biking clubs, after-school walking etc.;

B. Encourage the implementation of developmentally appropriate physical activity in after-school childcare programs for participating children;

C. Promote the reduction of time youth spend engaged in sedentary activities such as watching television and playing video games; and

D. Encourage the development of and participation in family-oriented community-based physical activity programs.

The District shall periodically assess, with input from the SNPACC, the District and individual schools' status regarding implementing this policy. The assessment shall be based, at least in part, on:

· the extent to which District schools are in compliance with this policy;

· the extent to which this policy compares to other model local school wellness policies; and

· A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of this policy.

The assessment results along with the content of this policy shall be periodically reported to the public, including parents, students, and other members of the community.

Notes: First and foremost, remember that this policy is to be developed with input from the Wellness Committee (SNPAAC). There are very specific powers, duties, and responsibilities given to the committee.

8.01.2 allows a school to serve or provide to students during the school day a serving outside of the meal period of food and beverages that complies with Federal Smart Snacks requirements as demonstrated by using the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Smart Snacks Calculator, including a copy of the Smart Snacks Calculator product compliance screen and a copy of the nutrition fact label of the product. This is a local control issue and does not have to be included in the policy, but you should be aware that it is an option and is on the ADE Wellness Policy Review Checklist.

The district has the option to adopt local restrictions on food that can be brought from home that exceed state and federal regulations, but it cannot diminish the regulations through local action. If you choose to exceed the regulations, you should state what your requirements are in this policy. This is a different issue than #3 below.

1 Additional goals can be listed upon the advice of the SNPAAC and the consent of the Board.

2 You have the option of appointing one person for each school or one person for the whole district. The new terminology is "designated district official" but the responsibilities remain the same; i.e. ensuring compliance with the Wellness Policy.

3 The school “events” are required to be school-wide and not by individual classrooms. You can amend this sentence to reflect your choice for who is to be responsible for determining the schedule of the events and/or the process for selecting the dates of the events. They are not required to be part of the school calendar, but it seems it would focus the decision making process if it were.

4 The ADE uses Commissioner's Memos to inform districts of many wellness policy issues concerning nutrition in general, serving portion sizes, drinking water availability, etc. The SNPAAC should be kept abreast of such applicable Memos. You have the choice to exceed the state or federal requirements. If you choose to meet and not exceed those mandated by government, you should delete “or exceed” at the start of the sentence. Currently, some of the state’s requirements are more stringent than the federal requirements, but this could change. By mentioning both governments in the policy, you’ll still be covered. If you do choose to exceed existing requirements you will need to specify what they are in this policy.

5 The Rules require all staff to receive professional development, but, at this time, there is no provision for how much or what it is to consist of.

6The Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity allow three options for accomplishing this requirement: 1) Establish a School Nutrition and Physical Activity Advisory Committee at each school in addition to the district committee. 2) Establish subcommittees of the district Committee, representing the appropriate age and grade configurations for your district. 3) Include representatives from each appropriate grade level group (elementary, middle, junior and senior high) on the membership of the district committee. Select the option you will use and rewrite the sentence to reflect your choice.

7 The statutory powers are codified at A.C.A. § 20-17-135(e)(1) and repeated in the Rules starting at 6.01. The powers delegated solely through the Rules can be found starting at 6.06

8 The 2010 amendment to the Child Nutrition Act requires the groups listed in this paragraph to be permitted to participate (rather than "must"). There is no mention in the Act of limitations to the numbers of individuals included in each category for the policy's oversight, but some limitation to the overall size of this review team may be necessary for efficiency purposes.

9 This paragraph was added to meet the requirements of A.C.A. § 6-20-709 and the ADE advises that WRITTEN documentation that this requirement has been met will be required during the Coordinated Review Effort (CRE), the federal monitoring review of the Child Nutrition Program.