Wellness Program Goals
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 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 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, 33% of high school students do not participate in sufficient vigorous physical activity and 72% of high school students do not attend daily physical education classes;
Whereas, only 2% of children (2 to 19 years) eat a healthy diet consistent with the recommendations from MyPyramid;
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 Duneland School Corporation 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 Duneland School Corporation that;
- The school corporation will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing corporation-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.
- All students in grades K-12 will have opportunities, support and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
- Foods and beverages that meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be made available to students as a “healthy choice”.
- 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.
- All schools in our corporation will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program).
- 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:
I. Wellness Committee
The Duneland School Corporation wellness committee will develop, implement, monitor, review, and as necessary, revise the wellness policy. The committee also will serve as resources to school sites for implementing those policies. The wellness committee consists of a group of individuals representing the school and community, and should include parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, members of the school board, school administrators, teachers, health professionals, and members of the public.
II. Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on Campus
Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
- be appealing and attractive to children;
- be served in clean and pleasant settings;
- meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state and federal statutes and regulations;
- offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
- serve low-fat milk (2%), low-fat chocolate milk (1%), and fat free milk; and
- ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.
Schools will 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 will 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, or other point-of-purchase materials.
To encourage all children to eat breakfast either at home or at schools, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:
- Schools will operate the School Breakfast Program.
- Schools will, to the extent possible, make available some “grab-and-go” healthy breakfast items for elementary students.
- Schools that serve breakfast to students will notify parents and students of the School Breakfast Program.
- Schools will encourage parents to provide healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, and other means.
Free and Reduced-priced Meals:
Schools will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to the overt identification of students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. Toward this end, schools will utilize electronic identification and payment system; and promote the availability of school meals to all students.
Meal times and Scheduling:
- will schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
- will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat breakfast and at least 15 minutes to eat lunch. This does not include time spent walking to/from class or waiting in line;
- will provide adequate seating to accommodate all students served during each meal period;
- will provide adequate supervision in the dining area (s);
- will allow students to converse with one another while they eat their meals;
- will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks;
- will not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students eat during such activities; and
- should take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regiments of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
Qualification of School Food Service Staff:
Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs. As part of the school corporation’s responsibility to operate a food service program, the Director of Food Services 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 level 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.
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, cafeteria a la carte items, fundraisers, school stores, etc.)
- Elementary Schools: The principal, in consultation with the Food Service Director, will approve and monitor all food and beverage sales to students in elementary schools. “Healthy choices” will be made available to students.
- Middle and High Schools: All foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs (including those items sold through a la carte in the cafeteria, in vending machines, in student stores, or through fundraising activities) during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day, must be approved and monitored by the principal, in consultation with the Food Service Director.
The sale of foods/beverages in vending machines is not allowed in areas accessible to students during the school day, except for water, 100% fruit juices and milk/ ice cream machines.
The following “healthy choices” should be offered as an option to students:
- Water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners; fruit and vegetable juices and fruit-based drinks that contain 100% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; and
- unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free fluid milk and nutritionally equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by USDA).
- Foods with less than 35% of its calories from fat (excluding nuts, seeds, peanut butter, and other nut butters) and 10% of its calories from saturated and trans fat combined;
- Foods with less than 35% of its weight from added sugars;
- Foods with less than 230mg of sodium per serving for chips, cereals, crackers, French fries, baked goods, and other snack items; with less than 480mg of sodium per serving for pastas, meats, and soups; and with less than 600mg of sodium for pizza, sandwiches, and main dishes; and
- Fruits and/or non-fried vegetables.
- Limit portion sizes of foods and beverages not sold as “healthy choices”.
- The Food Service Director will monitor the portion size of food and beverage choices not in this category to ensure conformity with State and National regulations.
- Fruits and non-fried vegetables are exempt from portion-size limits.
- The school corporation will ensure that all schools’ fundraising efforts are supportive of healthy eating.
- Schools will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity.
- At least 50% of student fundraising activities will not involve the sale of high fat, high calorie, high sugar foods and/or beverages.
- Student fundraising activities involving the sale of food or beverages will not take place until after the end of the last lunch period.
It is recommended that schools not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually, as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages as a punishment.
Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, and as such, students should be served snacks that are balanced in nutritional value.
Items such as fruits, vegetables, and water should be offered to students as a “healthy choice” option. Schools will assess when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages, and other considerations.
The corporation will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.
Schools should follow the snack guidelines previously stated.
- During school-sponsored events, such as, but not limited to, athletic events, dances, or performances, foods and beverages offered or sold will offer “healthy choice” alternatives in addition to traditional offerings.
- Organizations operating concessions at school functions should include at least some healthy food choices in their offerings.
- It is recommended that groups market healthy options at a lower profit margin to encourage selection by students.
III. Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing
Nutrition Education and Promotion:
The Duneland School Corporation aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
- Is offered as part of the sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
- Is part of not only health education classes, but also classroom instruction in subject such as math, science, language arts, social studies, and elective subjects;
- Includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, and farm visit;
- Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free diary products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;
- Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise);
- Links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services;
- Teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing;
- Is based on the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans;
- Whenever feasible, the active learning involves the students in food preparation;
- School administrators encourage teachers to attend nutrition-related training and the importance of role modeling healthful habits for students; and
- Attractive, current nutrition education materials are prominently displayed in dining areas.
Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting:
For students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class.
Towards that end:
- 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 the time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television;
- Opportunities for physical activity may be incorporated into other subject lessons; and
- Classroom teachers may provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.
Communication with Parent:
- The corporation will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.
- The corporation may offer healthy eating seminars for parents, send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on school websites, and/or 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 schools will provide parents a list of foods that meet the corporation’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities. In addition, the school may provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.
- The corporation 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 the school. Such support will include sharing information about physical activity special events, or physical education homework.
Food Marketing in Schools:
School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.
- Duneland School Corporation highly values the health of 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.
- At least one school-wide activity is conducted each year that promotes staff wellness.
- Employees should be encouraged to engage in daily physical activity during the workday as part of work breaks and/or lunch periods, before or after work hours in site sponsored programs or as part of discounted membership in local fitness facilities.
IV. Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education
Physical Education (P.E.) K-12:
- The physical education curriculum is sequential and consistent with Indiana State Board of Education approved physical education teaching standards for Kindergarten through grade 12.
- Students will spend at least 50% of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 3 out of 5 sessions.
- Ensure that state-certified teachers teach all P.E. classes.
- Schools will provide an adequate amount of time for P.E. classes.
- Students will have the opportunity to participate in lifetime physical activities (e.g., walking, Pilates, swimming, golf, tennis, etc.).
- Schools will provide a physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students, including those who are not athletically gifted.
- Adequate age-appropriate equipment is available for all students to participate in physical activity.
- Physical activity facilities on school grounds are safe.
- Recommend prohibiting the use of physical activity as a consequence, the withholding of participation in physical education class as a consequence, or the use of physical education class time to complete assignments from other classes.
- Information is provided to help families incorporate physical activity into the lives of all household members.
- Each elementary school will provide students with a scheduled, supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment. It is recommended that recess not be withheld for discipline or academic reasons.
- Schools should discourage extended periods (i.e., periods of two 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:
- Schools will encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity by providing adequate space, equipment and opportunities.
- The middle school and high school, as appropriate, will offer interscholastic sports programs.
- Schools will offer 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.
- After-school child care and enrichment programs will provide and encourage - verbally and through the provision of space, equipment, and activities - daily periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.
- School spaces and facilities are made available to students, staff, and community members before, during, and after the school day, on weekends, and during school vacations.
- Staff and other adults in the school setting are encouraged to serve as role models for students.
Safe Routes to School:
- The corporation 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 corporation will work together with local public works, public safety, and/or police departments in those efforts.
- Schools encourage parents and community members to institute programs that support physical activity, such as a walk/ride bike to school programs.
- The superintendent or designee will ensure compliance with established corporation-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policy and administrative guidelines.
- In each school, the principal or designee will ensure compliance with those administrative guidelines in his/her building and will report on the school’s compliance to the Superintendent of the Duneland Schools or designee.
- The Food Service Director will ensure compliance with nutrition guidelines within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the wellness committee.
- The Food Service Director will report on the most recent USDA School Meal Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes.
Administrative Guidelines Review:
- To help with the initial development of the corporation’s wellness administrative guidelines, each school in the corporation will conduct a baseline assessment on the school’s existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies.
- The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled at the corporation level by the wellness committee to identify and prioritize needs.
- Assessments will be repeated every year to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.
- As part of that review, the wellness committee will review the nutrition and physical activity administrative guidelines; the provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and the nutrition and physical education administrative guidelines.
- The individual schools within the corporation, will, as necessary, review the wellness administrative guidelines and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.
- The wellness committee will recommend to the Superintendent any revisions to the administrative guidelines it deems necessary.