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5405 - STUDENT WELLNESS
5000 - STUDENTS
5405 STUDENT WELLNESS
Last Updated Date: 04/04/2023
Revisions History: 04/04/2023, 04/08/2021, 07/13/2017, 04/07/2016, 05/22/2014, 07/16/2012, 07/11/2006
The Board of Education (the “Board”) is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health and the ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity and social-emotional well-being. Children’s health and social and emotional well-being should be the primary emphasis of school programs for nutrition, education, and physical activity. Given the documented connection between proper nutrition, adequate physical activity and educational success, the Board adopts the following goals and authorizes the following actions to provide District students with a school environment that promotes student health and wellness and reduces childhood obesity.
For the purposes of this policy, “school campus” means all District property accessible to students during the school day; “school day” means the period from the midnight before to thirty (30) minutes after the end of the official school day; and “competitive food” means all food and beverages available for sale to students on the school campus during the school day, other than meals reimbursed under federal programs.
- Foods and Beverages Available to Students on School Campus During the School Day
Students’ eating habits are influenced by the types of foods and beverages available to them. The Board recognizes that a nutritious, well-balanced, reasonably-portioned diet is essential for student wellness. To help students possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make nutritious food choices for their lifetime, the District will ensure that all foods and beverages available in school, at school-sponsored events, and at school fundraising events, promote good nutrition, balance, and reasonable portion sizes. The District will ensure that reimbursable school meals meet or exceed the program requirements and nutrition standards found in federal regulations.
The District will adhere to the nutrition standards required by all federal, state and local regulations as they may arise.
To accomplish this, the Board directs that the District:
- Serves healthy and appealing foods and beverages at District schools, following state and federal nutrition guidelines, as well as safe food preparation methods.
- Provides a clean, safe, enjoyable meal environment for students.
- Provides enough space and serving areas to ensure that all students have access to school meals with minimum wait time.
- Encourages students to participate in the school meals program and to continue to protect the identity of students who are approved for free and reduced-price meals.
- Adopts “Learning experiences designed to facilitate the voluntary adoption of eating and other nutrition-related behavior conducive to health and well-being” (ADA 1996).
- School Meals and Food and Beverages Sold Individually (Vending Machines)
The Board directs that the District will:
- Include fruits, vegetables, salads, whole grains, and low-fat items.
- Encourage students to try new or unfamiliar items.
- Make efforts to ensure that families are aware of need-based programs available for free or reduced-price meals and encourage eligible families to apply.
- Consider serving produce and food from local farms and suppliers.
- Make free drinking fountains available at locations where meals are served.
- Promote items which are healthy, fresh, natural and minimally processed and discourages items high in sugar, fat, and that are highly processed.
- Work with existing vendors or locate new vendors that will comply with the District’s objectives.
- Strive to ensure that all items meet the nutrition standards set in federal regulations for competitive foods regarding whole grains, fruits, vegetables, calories, fat, saturated fats, trans fats, sugar, sodium, and caffeine.
- Strive to provide students with adequate time to eat.
- Food in the Classroom
- Teachers, staff and coaches should not use food as an incentive or reward for academic performance or good behavior, unless in conflict with a student’s Individualized Educational Plan (“IEP”), Individualized Health Plan (“IHP”), or Section 504 Plan.
- In accordance with the District’s Anaphylaxis Treatment Policy 5426, identified students at the elementary level must not consume any foods brought into the classroom other than those provided by their parents/guardians. For the purposes of this policy, an “identified student” is defined as a student who has been
diagnosed with an allergy by their private medical caregiver and notice of such allergy has been provided in writing to the District’s Health Office.
- Teachers and staff at the elementary level should be encouraged not to use food for instructional purposes unless directly related to the curriculum, enrichment, or the study of other cultures.
- If teachers or staff plan to use food as part of the curriculum,
- The teacher or staff must speak with the school nurse.
- Teachers and staff must identify the ingredients to the parents and may identify ingredients to the students.
- Parents/guardians must be informed of the ingredients prior to the lesson.
- Parents/guardians should be encouraged to provide their child with snacks that make a positive contribution to their child’s diet and health.
- Food brought from home by a student should be for their own individual consumption.
- Parents/guardians are responsible for identifying and notify the teachers and staff of any known food allergies.
- Parents/guardians of students with identified food allergies or food sensitivities are encouraged to provide a supply of food snacks which they have approved for their child’s consumption.
- In accordance with the District’s anaphylaxis policy, identified students must not consume any foods brought into the classroom other than those provided by their parents/guardians.
- Upon parent/guardian request only, parents/guardians of elementary school students should be made aware of any students in the same classroom that have identified food allergies.
This section applies to all school and classroom parties, snacks which have been brought in for the class or school, celebrations, food provided to learn about cultures or countries, or other events where food and beverages are provided but not sold. At the elementary schools, teachers and staff are encouraged to hold no more than six (6) celebrations, for occasions other than for birthdays, which include food during the school year. In accordance with the District’s Anaphylaxis Treatment Policy #5426, identified students must not consume any foods brought into the classroom other than those provided by their parents/guardians.
- The healthy use of food will be modeled as a natural part of celebrations.
- Parents/guardians, teachers and staff should give preference for healthy foods or for non-food items or activities for in-school celebrations as well as for birthday celebrations. Candy is strongly discouraged.
- Parents/guardians should confer with the classroom teacher(s) to determine the date of an in-classroom birthday celebration at least seven (7) days in advance of the proposed celebration.
- All parents/guardians of students in the classroom should be notified in advance if any treat is being distributed in class as part of a celebration.
- Treats supplied for a celebration without prior notice to the classroom teacher will not be distributed to students.
If parents/guardians plan to include food as part of a celebration,
- The parent/guardian must identify the ingredients,
- The parent/guardian must confer with the teacher who, in turn will confer with the school nurse, as appropriate, and
- Parents/guardians of students who will be participating should be informed of the celebration.
- On School Buses
At the elementary school level, eating should not occur when a student is riding on a school bus, unless it is in conflict with a student’s IEP, IHP, or Section 504 Plan.
- Fund Raising Activities
Organizers of fundraising activities which involve the sale of food and/or beverages during the school day should offer foods that conform with the District’s Student Wellness Policy.
Organizers of fundraising activities or school sponsored events which occur after the school day, whether on or off school premises, and including those activities which take place at locations outside the District, should provide foods that conform with the District’s Student Wellness Policy.
The District will:
- Encourage that all items meet the nutrition standards set in federal regulations for competitive foods regarding whole grains, fruits, vegetables, calories, fat, saturated fats, trans fats, sugar, sodium, and caffeine.
- Promote non-food items to sell, or activities (physical or otherwise) in which to participate.
- Encourage outside organizations (e.g., Parent groups, Booster club) conducting fundraisers which take place off the school campus or outside the school day to follow this policy.
- Alcoholic Beverages Prohibited
The sale, consumption or distribution of alcoholic beverages is prohibited during the school day, and at school-related events where students are present, whether on or off school premises and whether during or after the school day including those which take place at locations outside the District.
- Marketing of Food and Beverages
- Any food or beverage that is marketed on school grounds during the school day must meet at least the federal nutrition standards for competitive items.
- This restriction applies to all school buildings (interior and exterior), school grounds, school buses and other vehicles used to transport students, athletic fields, structures, parking lots, school publications, and items such as vending machines, equipment, posters, garbage cans, or cups.
- Marketing includes all advertising and promotions: verbal, written, or graphic, or promotional items.
- This restriction does not apply to personal opinions or expression, or items used for educational purposes.
- This restriction applies to all purchases and contracts made after the effective date of this provision.
- Physical Activity
Physical activity is an important factor in staying healthy and being ready to learn. The Board encourages every student to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities, to regularly participate in physical activity, and to appreciate and enjoy physical activity as an ongoing part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition, staff, students, and families are encouraged to participate in and model physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.
Efforts will be made to keep school or District-owned physical activity facilities open for use by the community outside of school hours.
The District’s Physical Education program will adhere to the curricular requirements of the Commissioner of Education and the New York State Learning Standards.
To accomplish this, the Board directs that the District adheres to the following:
- Physical Education
- Engages students in physical education for at least the minimum number of hours or days per week under State requirements.
- Offers Physical Education classes that incorporate the appropriate NYS Learning Standards.
- Offers Physical Education that promote the integration of physical activity in the curriculum, both as activity breaks and as part of the educational process (e.g., kinesthetic learning).
- Offers Physical Education that promote, teach and provide opportunities to practice activities that students enjoy and can pursue throughout their lives (e.g., yoga, fitness walking, step aerobics).
- Does not use the performance or the withholding of physical activity as a form of discipline or punishment or reward.
- Schedules a daily allotment of recess time for elementary school students.
- Does not use recess as a form of discipline, punishment or reward.
- Holds recess outdoors whenever possible, and indoors during the most inclement weather, at the discretion of the Building Principal.
- Extracurricular Opportunities for Physical Activity
- Promotes opportunities, primarily at the secondary school, for physical activity through a range of before and/or after-school programs including, but not limited to, intramurals, interscholastic athletics, and physical activity clubs.
- Promotes clubs and activities and offers programs, including before and after school activities, which meet the various physical activity needs, interests, and abilities of all students (e.g., walking, hiking).
- Nutrition Promotion and Education
The Board believes that nutrition promotion and education is a key component in introducing and reinforcing healthy behaviors in students. Nutrition promotion and education that teaches the knowledge, skills, and values needed to adopt healthy eating behaviors will be integrated into the curriculum. Nutrition promotion and education information should be offered throughout the school campus including, but not limited to, school dining areas and classrooms.
Staff members who provide nutrition promotion and education will be appropriately trained. The District’s broader Health Education program will incorporate the appropriate New York State Learning Standards.
To accomplish this, the Board directs that the District:
- Includes nutrition education as part of the K-12 curriculum, not only in health education classes but also in classroom instruction in math, science, language arts, social sciences and elective subjects.
- Includes enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits and school gardens, where and when feasible.
- Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low fat dairy products, safe and healthy food preparation methods, and healthy nutrition practices.
- Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure.
- Incorporates activities that involve parents / guardians, students, and the community,
- Offers a health curriculum, such as in The Great Body Shop.
- Other School-Based Activities
The District may implement other appropriate programs that help create a school environment that conveys consistent wellness messages and is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity and social-emotional well-being. Such activities may include, but are not limited to, health forums or fairs, health newsletters, parent/guardian outreach, employee health and wellness activities, limiting the use of food as a reward, reviewing food marketing and advertising in school, hosting or promoting community-wide events, and offering wellness-related courses in the District’s adult education program.
The Assistant Superintendent for Student Services will serve as the District Wellness Coordinator and will have the operational responsibility to ensure that the District meets the standards set forth in this policy. The building principals or their designees will monitor the implementation of the policy at the building level.
- Monitoring and Review
The District will establish a District Wellness Committee which will consist of the District Wellness Coordinator; the school lead nurse; the Food Director; the Food Service Consultant; and a representative for teachers, students, building principals, and parents members of the District Wellness Committee will be listed (names, position titles, relationship to the school) on the District website, in parent newsletters or other communication channels regularly utilized by the District. The ability to participate in this committee will be advertised via notices in school publications; staff and student announcements; the District website; and/or through outreach to school-associated organizations interested persons and those with valuable expertise.
Each March, the District Wellness Coordinator will:
- Participate in the development, implementation, periodic review and update of this Student Wellness Policy.
- Obtain periodic informal updates of building principals, classroom staff and school health personnel on the progress of wellness activities and their effects.
- Report to the Board each June regarding the status of the implementation of the District's programs to improve students' nutritional awareness and healthy diet.
- Report to the Board and the public every three years regarding the implementation and effectiveness of this policy.
- Will provide parents, students, food service professionals, physical education teachers, school health professionals, school administrators, the general public, and the school board with the opportunity to participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of this wellness policy.
- Will inform and update the public (including parents/guardians, students and others in the community) about the content and implementation of this Student Wellness Policy.
- Every three years the District Wellness Coordinator, along with the involvement and assistance of the District Wellness Committee, will monitor and review the District’s wellness activities to determine:
- The extent that the District schools are complying with this policy
- How this policy compares to model local wellness policies, and
- A description of the progress made toward attaining the goals of this policy.
- The results of this triennial assessment must be made available to the public.
- Based on those results, this policy, and the specific objectives set to meet its goals, must be revised as needed.
The District will keep records as required by federal regulations. The State Education Department (SED) has been given the responsibility of auditing, reviewing and evaluating each school district’s wellness policy at least once every three years. The SED will look to ensure that the following items are included in the District’s policy:
- The website address for this policy (www.manhassetschools.org)
- The required substantive elements
- Information on how the public is made aware of the policy
- Documentation to indicate when and how the review and update of this policy occurs
- The name and title of the individual in the district responsible for reviewing and updating the policy
- Documentation to show how stakeholders are made aware of their ability to participate in the review, update and implementation of this policy
- A copy of the most recent triennial assessment and documentation indicating how the public is made aware of the results, and
- Documentation demonstrating compliance with community requirements, the most recent triennial assessment, and compliance with the public notification requirements.
If corrective action is not completed as required, the SED is authorized to withhold federal funds.
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