Student Wellness Policy

Below is a sample policy from 5210 Let’s Go! program to assist your school district. Contact us for additional assistance in policy development and best practice strategies.

Policy Statement:

Your School District is committed to developing students’ skills and behaviors that promote lifelong wellness. The School Board recognizes that a student’s readiness to learn is related to his/her physical and psychological well being. The District is committed to creating healthy school environments that allow students to take full advantage of the educational programs offered at Your School District.

School Wellness Committee

The Wellness Committee shall serve as an advisory committee in regard to student and staff wellness issues and will be responsible for making recommendations related to the Wellness Policy, wellness goals, administrative or school regulations and practices, or raising awareness of student health issues.

With the prior approval of the Superintendent/designee, the Wellness Committee may survey parents, students and the community and/or conduct focus groups or community forums.

The Wellness Committee shall provide periodic reports to the Superintendent/designee and, as requested, to the Board.

Stakeholder Involvement

The Superintendent or designee shall encourage and permit  parents/guardians, students, food service employees, physical education teachers, classroom teachers, school health professionals, board members, school administrators, and members of the public to participate in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the district’s student Wellness Policy.

Nutrition standards for sale or service of food and beverages through the School Meals Program:

All food and beverage for sale or service by the School Meals Programs shall meet or exceed federal and state nutrition standards.

To the extent possible, school meals shall include adequate time for eating (after sitting down, at least 10 minutes for breakfast and at least 20 minutes for lunch), and should be scheduled at appropriate times (i.e. lunch between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.), and include access to free drinking water, and will provide student access to hand washing and/or sanitizing. Schools will encourage maximum participation in school meal programs. Appropriate professional development will be provided for school nutrition staff and other staff involved in the delivery of healthy eating programs.

Nutrition standards for sale or service of food and beverages outside of the School Meals Program:

Food and beverages at school should be provided primarily through the School Meals Program and consistent with federal and state nutrition standards1.

If food or beverages are provided outside the School Meals Program, they must meet or exceed the federal and state nutrition standards and or the policies set by the school district in order to ensure consistent messaging and role modeling throughout the school environment.  This includes classroom parties and school stores.

Celebrations:  Schools should limit any unhealthy choices provided, if any, during school and classroom celebrations involving food during the school day.  Please consider using physical activity for celebration in place of food.

School Stores:  Every school store will limit unhealthy choices and meet and or exceed the nutrition standards set by the school nutrition program.

Food or beverages shall not be used as a reward or incentive for students’ behavior or performance. Schools are encouraged to use physical activity as rewards or incentives for students’ behavior or performance and as alternatives to food celebrations. Schools are encouraged to avoid the use of food as reinforcement for desirable behavior in student’s behavior intervention plans.

Fundraisers should consist of primarily non-food items. However, if food items are sold during the school day, they must meet the Your School District Nutrition Standards for Food and Beverages available outside the School Meals Programs.

[NOTE: Districts should ensure this Wellness Policy and the district Student Discipline Policy (JK) align with each other.]
[NOTE: Districts should ensure this Wellness Policy and the district Fundraising Policy (JJE) align with each other.]

Nutrition Education

Nutrition education K-12 shall be provided as part of the health education program and, as appropriate, shall be integrated into classroom subjects such as math, science, language arts, physical education, and social studies. Students shall receive consistent nutrition messages based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans throughout the school community, including classrooms, the cafeteria, and school-home communications.

Nutrition Promotion

Nutrition messages, consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, shall be present throughout the school including in the cafeteria and gymnasium. Administrators and staff will be encouraged to model nutritious food choices and eating habits. Parents will be encouraged to provide nutritionally sound snacks from home.

Food and Beverage Marketing

Advertising of non-nutritious foods and beverages through signage, vending machine fronts, logos, scoreboards, school supplies, advertisements in school publications, coupon or incentive programs, is prohibited.

Physical Education and Physical Activity Opportunities

All students shall have a minimum of 30 minutes of developmentally appropriate daily physical activity, through recess, active classroom lessons, in-class physical activity breaks, and physical education. Strategies that incorporate physical movement in the classroom and into routine daily activities should be incorporated into the school culture. The schools will provide a physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable physical activity and fosters the development of a positive attitude toward health and fitness.

The physical education program will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to be physically fit and take part in healthful physical activity on a regular basis. Physical education classes will keep all students involved in purposeful activity for a majority of the class period. The physical education curriculum will be aligned with the content standards of the Maine system of Learning Results. Physical education classes will provide opportunity to learn for students of all abilities. Appropriate professional development will be provided for physical education staff involved in the delivery of such programs.

Additional support, accommodation, training and coordination may be needed to ensure children and youth with disabilities have a minimum of 30 minutes of developmentally appropriate daily physical activity.

Schools will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) as punishment. Schools will not withhold opportunities for physical activity during the day (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment, unless participation would cause a student to be a danger to himself/herself.  Teachers are encouraged to provide alternative physical activities for students behaving inappropriately during physical activities, such as physical education and recess.

[NOTE: Districts should ensure this Wellness Policy and the district Student Discipline Policy (JK) align with each other.]

Screen Time

Screen time such as television, computers, video games and other electronic media will be used for educational purposes only. Exceptions will be made for screen time that engages children in physical activity, such as dance or exercise videos or active video games. Exceptions will be made at the discretion of the school principal.

In the event of inclement weather causing the students to stay indoors during outside time, students will be provided with appropriate opportunities for physical activity. This could include stretching, walking, and active videos and CD’s that promote group physical activity. Sedentary screen time including inactive videos, computer usage and video games will not be provided.

[NOTE: Districts should ensure this Wellness Policy and the district Student Computer and Internet Use Policy (INJDB) align with each other.]

Staff Wellness

Your School District highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Schools are encouraged to implement staff wellness related programs and activities that are consistent with the Local Wellness Policy.

Other School-Based Wellness Activities

The schools, with prior approval of the Superintendent/designee, may implement other appropriate programs that support consistent wellness messages and promote healthy eating and physical activity.

Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation

The Superintendent shall designate one or more district employees, as appropriate, to ensure that each school site complies with this policy. The Superintendent or designee shall inform and update the public, including parents/guardians, students, and others in the community, about the contents and implementation of this policy. He/she shall periodically measure and make available to the public an assessment of the extent to which district schools are in compliance with this policy, the extent to which this policy compares to model Wellness Policies available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the Wellness Policy. The Superintendent will provide a full update of Wellness Policy compliance and wellness initiatives at least once annually to the School Board. Monitoring may include surveys or solicitation of input from students, parents, staff, and school administrators.

Reports may include, but are not limited to:

  1. The status of the school environment in regard to student wellness issues
  2. Evaluation of the school nutrition program and compliance with nutrition guidelines
  3. Summary of wellness programs and activities in the schools
  4. Feedback from students, parents, staff, school administrators and wellness committee
  5. Recommendations for policy, program or curriculum revisions

Any person who observes practices inconsistent with the District Wellness Policy should contact the school principal. If inconsistencies are still not adequately addressed, any person may contact the Superintendent. The District Wellness Committee will review the District Wellness Policy and other related policies as needed and make necessary recommendations for revisions to the superintendent or designee.

Legal Reference: 42 U.S.C. § 1751
Healthy, Hunger‐Free Kids Act of 2010
7 CFR Parts 210 and 220 Final Rule Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs 2012
Cross reference: JJE-Student Fundraising, JJIB-Relations with Booster Groups, JK- Student Discipline
Adopted: [1] https://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/dietaryspecs.pdf