Hicksville Exempted Village Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

8510 - WELLNESS

Preamble

Whereas, children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive;

Whereas, good health fosters student attendance and education;

Whereas, obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two (2) decades, and physical inactivity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity;

Whereas, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds (2/3’s) of deaths in the United States, and major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, often are established in childhood;

Whereas, thirty-three percent (33%) of high school students do not participate in sufficient vigorous physical activity and seventy-two percent (72%) of high school students do not attend daily physical education classes;

Whereas, only two percent (2%) of children two to nineteen years (2-19) eat a healthy diet consistent with the five (5) main recommendations from the Food Guide Pyramid;

Whereas, nationally, the items most commonly sold from school vending machines, school stores, and snack bars include low-nutrition foods and beverages, such as soda, sports drinks, imitation fruit juices, chips, candy, cookies, and snack cakes;

Whereas, school districts around the country are facing significant fiscal and scheduling constraints; and

Whereas, community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies.

Thus, the Hicksville Exempted Village School District is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, it is the policy of the Hicksville Exempted Village School District that:

 A.The School District will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing District wide nutrition and physical activity policies.

 B.All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.

 C.Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

 D.Qualified child nutrition professionals will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; will accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.

 E.To the maximum extent practicable, all schools in our district will participate in available Federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program (including after-school snacks), Summer Food Service Program, Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program (including suppers).
  Schools will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services.

TO ACHIEVE THESE POLICY GOALS:

School Health Councils

The School District and/or individual schools within the District will create, strengthen, or work within existing school health councils to develop, implement, monitor, review, and as necessary, revise school nutrition and physical activity policies. The councils also will serve as resources to school sites for implementing those policies. (A school health council consists of a group of individuals representing the school and community, and should include parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, members of the School Board, school administrators, teachers, health professionals, and members of the public.)

Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on Campus

School Meals

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

 A.be appealing and attractive to children;

 B.be served in clean and pleasant settings;

 C.meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, State, and Federal statutes and regulations;

 D.offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;¹

 E.serve only low fat (1%) and fat free milk² and nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA); and

 F.ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.³ ⁴

Schools should engage 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. In addition, schools should share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students. Such information could be made available on menus, a website, on cafeteria menu boards, placards, or other point-of-purchase materials.

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:

 A.Schools will, to the extent possible, operate the School Breakfast Program.

 B.Schools will, to the extent possible, arrange bus schedules and utilize methods to serve school breakfasts that encourage participation, including serving breakfast in the classroom, "grab-and-go" breakfast, or breakfast during morning break or recess.

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

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

Free and Reduced-Price 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 meals. Toward this end, schools may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income; 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:

 A.will provide students with at least ten minutes (10) to eat after sitting down for breakfast and twenty minutes (20) after sitting down for lunch;

 B.should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.;

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

 D.will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and

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

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.

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 restrictions on some children’s diets.

Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing

Nutrition Education and Promotion. Hicksville Exempted Village School District aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

 A.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;

 B.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;

 C.includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens;

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

 E.emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);

 F.links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;

 G.teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing; and

 H.includes training for teachers and other staff.

Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting. For students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least sixty (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:

 A.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;

 B.opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons; and

 C.classroom teachers will 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 will 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 parents a list of foods that meet the District’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities. In addition, the District/school will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.

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 will include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, or special events.

Staff Wellness. Hicksville Exempted Village School District 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.

Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education

All physical education will be taught by a certified physical education teacher. Student involvement in other activities involving physical activity (e.g., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement. Students will spend at least fifty percent (50%) of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Daily Recess. All elementary school students will have at least twenty (20) minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.

Schools should discourage extended periods (i.e., periods of two (2) 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. The high school and middle school as appropriate, 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.

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

Safe Routes to School. The School District will assess and, if necessary, and to the extent possible, make needed improvements to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school. When appropriate, the District will work together with local public works, public safety, and/or police departments in those efforts. The School District will explore the availability of Federal "safe routes to school" funds, administered by the State Department of Transportation, to finance such improvements. The School District will encourage students to use public transportation when available and appropriate for travel to school, and will work with the local transit agency to provide transit passes for students.

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, on weekends, and during school vacations. 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.

The Superintendent shall appoint a District-wide Wellness Committee that includes parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, educational staff (including physical education teachers), school health professionals, members of the public, and school administrators to oversee development, implementation, evaluation and periodic update of this policy. The Wellness Committee shall be an ad hoc committee with members recruited and appointed annually.

The Wellness Committee shall be responsible for:

 A.assessment of the current school environment;

 B.review of the District’s Wellness policy;

 C.presentation of the Wellness policy to the Board for approval;

 D.measurement of the implementation of the policy; and

 E.recommendation for the revision of the policy, is necessary.

Before the end of each school year, the Wellness Committee shall recommend to the Superintendent any revisions to the policy it deems necessary and/or appropriate.

The Superintendent shall report annually to the Board on the Wellness Committee’s progress and on its evaluation of the policy’s implementation and areas for improvement, including status of compliance by individual schools and progress made in attaining the policy’s goals.

The Superintendent is also responsible for informing the public, including parents, students and community members, on the content and implementation of this policy. In order to inform the public, the Superintendent shall put the information in the district newsletter and post the policy on the District’s website, including the Wellness Committee’s assessment of the policy’s implementation.

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¹ To the extent possible, schools will offer at least two (2) non-fried vegetable and two (2) fruit options each day and will offer five (5) different fruits and five (5) different vegetables over the course of a week. Schools are encouraged to source fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers when practicable.

² As recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.

³ As recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005.

A whole grain is one labeled as a "whole" grain product or with a whole grain listed as the primary grain ingredient in the ingredient statement. Examples include "whole" wheat flour, cracked wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.

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.

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

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.

42 U.S.C. 1751, Sec. 204
42 U.S.C. 1771

Revised 12/9/13

© Neola 2013