The Board recognizes the importance of students maintaining physical health and proper nutrition in order to take advantage of educational opportunities. The Board further recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to a student’s physical well-being, growth, development and readiness to learn. The Board is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience.
SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Board will appoint a School Health Advisory Council to help plan, implement and monitor this policy as well as other health and nutrition issues within the school district. The council will serve as an advisory committee regarding student health issues. The council may examine related research and laws, assess student needs and the current school environment, review existing Board policies and administrative regulations, collaborate with appropriate community agencies and organizations, and help raise awareness about student health issues. The council also will assist in developing the student wellness policy and may make other policy recommendations to the Board related to health issues necessary to promote student wellness.
The council will be composed of school district, local health department and community representatives to provide information in the following ten areas: physical environment, physical education/physical activity, counseling/psychological/social services, health education, employee wellness, health services, social and emotional climate, nutrition environment and services, community involvement and family engagement. Of those appointed to the council, there will be at least one person from each of the following groups: school Board Member, school district administrator, district food service representative, school nurse, physical education teacher, student, parent/guardian and member of the public.
The council will provide periodic reports to the Board regarding the status of its work. In addition, the council will assist the superintendent in creating an annual report which includes the minutes of physical activity and the minutes of physical education and/or healthful living education received by students in the district each school year, and any other information required by the State Board of Education.
NUTRITION EDUCATION AND PROMOTION
The Board believes that promoting student health and nutrition enhances readiness for learning and increases student achievement. The goals of nutrition education are (1) to provide appropriate instruction for the acquisition of behaviors which contribute to a healthy lifestyle for students and (2) to teach, encourage and support healthy eating by students and (3) disseminate consistent nutrition messages throughout the school district, schools, cafeterias, homes, communities and media.
The Board will provide evidence based nutrition education within the State Mandated Curriculum and Grade Level Competencies adopted by the State Board of Education. Nutrition education will provide all students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy lives. Students should learn to address nutrition-related health concerns through age-appropriate nutrition education lessons and activities. For example, teaching students how to read a nutrition fact label.
Nutrition education and promotion should extend beyond the school environment by engaging and involving families and communities. School district personnel may coordinate with agencies and community organizations to provide opportunities for appropriate student projects and promotional activities related to nutrition.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
The goal of the physical education program is to promote lifelong physical activity and provide instruction in the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong participation in physical activity. To address issues such as overweight, obesity, cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grades will participate in evidence based physical activity as part of the district’s physical education curriculum. The physical education course will foster support and guidance for being physically active, will help students know and understand the value of being physically fit, and will teach students the types of activities that contribute to total fitness. The course will be taught in an environment where students can learn, practice and receive assessment on age appropriate skills as defined in the State Mandated Curriculum.
Schools will strive to provide opportunities for age- and developmentally-appropriate physical activity during the day for all students, so that students can learn to exhibit a physically active lifestyle. A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity will be provided daily by schools for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. Such activity may be achieved through a regular physical education class, recess, dance, classroom energizers and/or other curriculum-based physical activity programs. The principal will work with teachers to ensure that students meet the minimum physical activity requirement.
To ensure that students have ongoing opportunities for physical activity and maintain a positive attitude towards physical activity, structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity shall not be taken away from students as a form of punishment. In addition, severe and inappropriate exercise may not be used as a form of punishment for students.
Consistent with policy 6200, Goals of Student Food Services, all foods available in the district’s schools during the school day will be offered to students with consideration for promoting student health, reducing childhood obesity, providing a variety of nutritional meals and promoting life-long healthy eating habits.
Foods provided through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs will comply with USDA federal nutrition standards https://fns.usda.gov/school-meals/nutrition-standards-school-meals In addition, food selections will also be consistent with statewide nutrition standards established by the State Board of Education and with Board policy 6230, Nutritional Standards for Food Selection.
Competitive foods must meet State Board of Education nutrition standards as well as nutrition standards established by the superintendent pursuant to policy 6230. In addition, all vending machine sales will comply with the requirements of G.S. 115C-264.2 and Eat Smart: North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools and the USDA Smart Snacks for Schools rule (https://healthymeals.fns.usda.gov/smartsnacks). Competitive foods are defined as foods offered at school other than through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs including food, snacks and beverages from a la carte menus, vending machines and outside suppliers.
The LEA will be responsible for purchasing all items to be sold to students outside the school nutrition program and will be responsible for determining whether the products sold in school-owned vending machines, school stores, and other venues anywhere on the school campus comply with the Smart Snacks nutrition standards. LEA personnel will be responsible and accountable for obtaining and maintaining documentation for all purchases (including but not limited procurement specifications, bid awards, contracts, nutrition facts labels, allergen labels and ingredient lists) for each school within the LEA. Under this option, LEA personnel outside the school nutrition program will be responsible for compliance during an Administrative Review or audit. Consistent with SBE policy, under this option, foods and beverages may not be sold in competition with the school nutrition program from 12:01 AM until after the cafeteria closes for the day.
OTHER SCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE WELLNESS
In addition to the aforementioned standards, the Board adopts the following goals for school-based activities designed to promote wellness:
- District schools will provide a clean and safe meal environment.
- Students will be provided adequate time to eat meals.
- Drinking water will be available at all meal periods and throughout the school day.
- Professional development will be provided for district nutrition staff
- To the extent possible, the district will utilize available funding and outside programs to enhance student wellness.
- Food will not be used in the schools as punishment.
- As appropriate, the goals of this student wellness policy will be considered in planning all school based activities.
- Administrators, teachers, food service personnel, students, parents/guardians and community members will be encouraged to serve as positive role models to promote student wellness. This could include eating healthy snacks, drinking water and being physically active with students.
Content and progress with implementation of the wellness policy will be communicated with the school staff, students, families and the public on the Wilkes County Schools web site (www.wilkescountyschools.org).
GUIDELINES FOR REIMBURSABLE MEALS
The director of child nutrition will ensure that school district guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued for schools in accordance with federal law.
IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW OF POLICY
The superintendent or his/her designee will be responsible for overseeing implementation of this policy and monitoring district schools, programs and curriculum to ensure compliance with this policy, related policies and established guidelines or administrative regulations. Each principal will report to the superintendent or designee regarding compliance in his/her school. Staff members responsible for programs related to student wellness also will report to the superintendent or designee regarding the status of such programs.
The superintendent will annually report to the Board on the district’s compliance with laws and policies related to student wellness. The report may include the following items:
- assessment of the school environment regarding student wellness issues.
- valuation of food services programs.
- review of all foods and beverages sold in schools for compliance with established nutrition guidelines as stated in the Smart Snacks Options Declaration Form.
- listing of all activities and programs conducted to promote nutrition and physical activity.
- information provided in the report from the School Health Advisory Council, as provided in section A, above.
- suggestions for improvement to policies or programs.
Legal References: The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, P.L. 108-265, Sec. 204; National School Lunch Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §1751, et seq.; G.S. 115C-264.2, -264.3; State Board of Education Policy # HSP-S-000; Eat Smart: North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools, NC Department of Health and Human Services, NC Division of Public Health, (2004)
Cross References: Goals of Student Health Services (policy 6100), Goals of Student Food Services (policy 6200), Nutritional Standards for Food Selection (policy 6230)
Adopted: October 2, 2006
Revised: April 4, 2011, August 4, 2014, October 5, 2015, August 7, 2017, December 3, 2018