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Wellness Policy

Policy Code: 6140 Student Wellness

The board recognizes that it is important for students to maintain their physical health and receive 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.  As part of that commitment, the board directs the superintendent to oversee the development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of this policy and other school system efforts to encourage students to be healthy and active, including compliance with the State Board of Education’s Healthy Active Children Policy, SHLT-000, as further described in Section F, below.  The superintendent may designate a school system official to carry out this responsibility (“lead wellness official”).

The superintendent or designee shall make the most current version of this policy available to members of the school community and the public by posting it on the school system website and/or by distributing it annually through other means reasonably intended to reach the school community and public.  In addition, the superintendent or designee shall provide a copy of this policy to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) when requested to do so.

A. SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL

The board will maintain a school health advisory council to help plan, update, implement, promote, and monitor this policy as well as to address other health and nutrition issues within the school system.  The council serves as an advisory committee regarding student health issues and works in conjunction with the lead wellness official charged with oversight of this policy and the school system’s efforts to promote student and employee health and wellness in compliance with state and federal requirements.  The council is authorized to 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 may make policy recommendations to the board related to this policy and other policies concerning student wellness and in conjunction with the lead wellness official, shall periodically review and suggest revisions to this policy.  In addition, the council may assist in the development of a plan for measuring and assessing implementation of this policy and in developing methods to inform and update the public about the content and implementation of this policy as described in Sections F and G, below.

The council will be composed of representatives from the school system, the local health department, and the community.  The council must include members of each of the following groups:  the school board, school system administrators, school system food service representatives, physical education teachers, school health professionals, students, parents or guardians, and the public.  The council will provide information to the board about the following areas or concerns:  (1) physical activity, (2) health education, (3) employee wellness, (4) health services, (5) social and emotional climate, (6) nutrition environment and services, (7) counseling, psychological, and social services, (8) physical environment, (9) family engagement, and (10) community involvement. 

The council shall provide periodic reports to the board and public regarding the status of its work.  In addition, the council shall assist the lead wellness official in creating an annual report that includes the minutes of physical activity and the minutes of physical education and/or healthful living education received by students in the system each school year, as well as any other information required by the State Board of Education or NCDPI. 

B. NUTRITION PROMOTION AND NUTRITION EDUCATION

The board believes that promoting student health and nutrition enhances readiness for learning and increases student achievement.  The general goals of nutrition promotion and nutrition education are (1) to provide appropriate instruction for the acquisition of behaviors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle for students and (2) to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. 

The board will provide nutrition education within the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study and the grade level expectations outlined in the Healthful Living Essential Standards adopted by the State Board of Education.  Nutrition education should be designed to 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.

Nutrition education and promotion should extend beyond the school environment by engaging and involving families and communities.  School system personnel may coordinate with agencies and community organizations to provide opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition.  School system personnel are to work to disseminate and promote consistent nutrition messages throughout the school system, schools, classrooms, school dining areas, homes, community, and media.

C. NUTRITION STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES FOR ALL FOOD AND BEVERAGES AVAILABLE AT SCHOOL

All foods available in the system’s schools during the school day that are offered to students should help promote student health, reduce childhood obesity, provide a variety of nutritional meals, and promote lifelong healthy eating habits.  All foods and beverages sold at school must meet the nutrition standards described below:

1. School Lunch, Breakfast, and Snack Programs

Foods provided through the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, or After School Snack Programs must comply with federal and state nutrition standards.  The director of child nutrition shall ensure that school system guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued for schools in accordance with federal law. 

2. Competitive Foods

All foods sold on school campuses in areas that are accessible to students during the school day (defined as the period from midnight through 30 minutes after the dismissal bell rings) in competition with the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs (“competitive foods”) must comply with the federal Smart Snacks in Schools standards.  Competitive foods include food, snacks, and beverages from a la carte menus, vending machines, and outside suppliers, as well as foods or beverages sold in school stores and at fund-raisers.  Vending machine sales also must comply with the requirements of G.S. 115C-264.2 and Eat Smart:  North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools

3. Other Foods Available on the School Campus During the School Day and After the School Day

School principals shall establish rules for foods and beverages brought from home for classroom events or parties during the school day or for extracurricular activities after the school day.  The board encourages principals to establish rules that are consistent with the Smart Snacks in Schools standards.

Fundraising activities that involve the sale of foods and/or beverages to students during the school day (from midnight until 30 minutes after the dismissal bell rings) must comply with the Smart Snack Rules and may not be conducted until after the end of the last lunch period.  See policy 6230, School Meal and Competitive Foods Standards. 

School principals may establish standards for fund-raising activities conducted after the school day (beginning 31 minutes after the dismissal bell rings) that involve the sale of food and/or beverages.  The board encourages alternative fundraising activities such as non-food items or physical activity. 

4. Food and Beverage Marketing

Food and beverage marketing on school campuses during the school day must meet federal and state standards.  In accordance with these standards, only foods and beverages that meet the Smart Snack standards (as described in subsection C.2, above) may be marketed or advertised on school campuses during the school day.  To comply with this requirement, existing supplies, materials, or equipment that depict noncompliant products or logos will be replaced or removed in accordance with normal lifecycles or as otherwise would occur in the normal course of business.

D. PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

1. Goals of the Physical Education Program

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 obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type II diabetes, students enrolled in kindergarten through eighth grade must have the opportunity to participate in physical activity as part of the system’s physical education curriculum.  The goal for elementary schools is to provide 150 minutes weekly of quality physical education with a certified physical education teacher.  The goal for middle schools is to provide 225 minutes weekly of Healthful Living Education, divided equally between health and physical education with certified health and physical education teachers.

2. The Physical Education Course

The physical education course should be designed to foster support and guidance for being physically active, help students know and understand the value of being physically fit, and teach students the types of activities that contribute to total fitness.  The course is to be taught in an environment where students can learn, practice, and receive assessment on developmentally appropriate skills and knowledge as defined in the North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study.  Students should be engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity for fifty percent or more of class time.  Class for physical education should be equivalent in size to those of other academic classes.

3. Physical Activity Requirements and Goals

School personnel should strive to provide opportunities for age- and developmentally-appropriate physical activity during the day for all students so that students can learn how to maintain a physically active lifestyle.  Schools must provide a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily for kindergarten through eighth-grade students.  Such activity may be achieved through a regular daily physical education class as described in Sections D.1 and D.2 above, or through recess, dance, classroom energizers and/or other curriculum-based physical activity programs of at least 10 minutes duration, that, when combined, total 30 minutes of daily physical activity.  Principals shall work with teachers to ensure that students meet the minimum physical activity requirement.  The board will periodically measure and report progress toward meeting these goals.

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 may 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.

E. OTHER SCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE WELLNESS

In addition to the standards discussed above, the board adopts the following goals for school-based activities designed to promote wellness:

1. Schools will provide a clean and safe meal environment.

2. Drinking water will be available at all meal periods and throughout the school day.

3. Professional development will be provided for school system nutrition staff.

4. To the extent possible, the school system will utilize available funding and outside programs to enhance student wellness.

5. As appropriate, the goals of this wellness policy will be considered in planning all school-based activities.

F. IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW OF POLICY

1. Oversight and Monitoring of Implementation and Progress

The lead wellness official, in conjunction with the school health advisory council, shall oversee the implementation of this policy and monitor system schools, programs, and curricula to ensure compliance with and to assess progress under this policy, related policies, and established guidelines or administrative regulations.  Each principal shall be responsible for and shall report to the lead wellness official regarding compliance and measurements of progress in his or her school.  Staff members responsible for programs related to student wellness also shall report to the lead wellness official regarding the status of such programs. 

2. Review of Policy

The lead wellness official shall work with members of the school health advisory council to periodically review and update this policy based on the triennial assessment of the school system’s compliance with the policy (see subsection F.4, below), progress toward meeting the policy goals, and other relevant factors.  The lead wellness official shall document the review process and participants, and the method used to notify the school health advisory council and/or other stakeholders of their ability to participate.

3. Annual Reporting

The lead wellness official shall prepare annual written reports to the superintendent and NCDPI/State Board of Education that provide all information required by the superintendent and/or the state pertaining to the school system’s efforts to comply with this policy and SBE policy SHLT-000

4. Triennial Assessment

Beginning with school year 2017-18, and at least once every three years thereafter, the superintendent or designee shall report to the board and public on the system’s compliance with laws and policies related to student wellness, the implementation of this policy, and progress toward meeting the goals of the policy.  At a minimum, the superintendent or designee shall measure and report the following:

1) the extent to which the individual schools are in compliance with this policy;

2) the extent to which the board’s wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies and meets state and federal requirements; and

3) a description of the progress made in attaining the goals of this policy.

The report may also include the following items:

4) a summary of each school’s activities undertaken in support of the policy goals;

5) an assessment of the school environment regarding student wellness issues;

6) an evaluation of the school nutrition services program;

7) a review of all foods and beverages sold in schools for compliance with established nutrition guidelines;

8) a review of guidelines for foods and beverages available, but not sold, during the school day, as described in subsection C.3, above;

9) information provided in the report from the school health advisory council, as described in Section A, above; and

10) suggestions for improvement to this policy or other policies or programs.

G. PUBLIC NOTIFICATION

1. The school system will publish contact information for the lead wellness official on the school system website.

2. The lead wellness official shall assist the school health advisory council with annually informing and updating the public about this policy and its implementation and State Board policy SHLT-000.

3. The superintendent or designee shall make public the results of the triennial assessment described in subsection F.4 of this policy. 

4. All information required to be reported under this section and any additional information required by the state to be reported publicly shall be widely disseminated to students, parents, and the community in an accessible and easily understood manner, which may include by posting on the school system website.

H. RECORDKEEPING

The superintendent shall maintain records to document compliance with this policy and all federal and state requirements.  These records, at a minimum, must include:

1. a written copy of this policy and any updates;

2. the most recent triennial assessment for each school;

3. documentation demonstrating:

a. the efforts to review and update this policy, as described in subsection F.2 of this policy;

b. how this policy and information about the most recent triennial assessments have been made available to the public, as described in Section G;

c. compliance with the annual reporting requirements of subsection F.3; and

d. other efforts to involve the school health advisory council and/or other community members in the implementation of or assessment of compliance with this policy.

Legal References:  Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, 42 U.S.C. 1751; Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, P.L. 111-296; National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.7 C.F.R. 210.11210.12, and 210.31G.S. 115C-264.2-264.3; State Board of Education Policies SHLT-000CHNU-000CHNU-002Eat Smart:  North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, N.C. Division of Public Health (2004)

Adopted: May 15, 2006

Revised: July 16, 2012

Revised: September 19, 2016

Revised: June 12, 2017

 

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