Wellness Policies on
Physical Activity and Nutrition
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 five 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, St. Francis De Sales School 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 St. Francis De Sales School that:
• St. Francis de Sales will engage the principal, students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing school-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.
• All students in grades K-8 will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically
active on a regular basis.
• Foods and beverages sold or served at school during breakfast and lunch will meet the
nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
• 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.
• To the maximum extent practicable, we will participate in available federal school meal
programs (including the School Breakfast Program, and the National School Lunch Program .
• School 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. School Health Councils
The school will work within existing school health councils to develop, implement, monitor, review, and, as necessary, revise school nutrition and physical activity 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, 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 only fat free flavored milk or 1% low fat white milk and
• ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.3,
Breakfast. Breakfast will again be provided at no cost to all students. Beginning the first day of school. Studies have shown that when you miss breakfast, your metabolism rate slows down and causes you to be hungry and have less energy throughout the day.
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:
• School will, to the extent possible, operate the School Breakfast Program.
• School 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.
• Schools that serve breakfast to students will notify parents and students of the
availability of the School Breakfast Program.
• School will encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through
newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.
Free and Reduced-priced Meals. Currently, St. Francis de Sales School participates in the Commodity Community Eligibility Option Provision under the National School Lunch Program. Under this program all children in SFDS will receive a lunch at no charge, except for extras $1.25, regardless of income. Extra’s cost $1.25. This program expires at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.
Summer Food Service Program. This program is not offered.
Meal Times and Scheduling. School:
• will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
• should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.;
• should not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
• will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and
• 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.
Elementary Schools. The school food service program will approve and provide all food and beverages to students in elementary schools for breakfast and lunch. Given young children’s limited nutrition skills, food in elementary schools should be as balanced meals.
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, cafeteria a la carte [snack] lines, fundraisers, school stores, etc.)
• Allowed: water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners; fruit and vegetable juices and fruit-based drinks that contain at least 50% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free fluid milk and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by USDA);
• Not allowed: soft drinks containing caloric sweeteners or that contain additional caloric
sweeteners; beverages containing caffeine, excluding low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk
(which contain trivial amounts of caffeine).
• A food item sold individually:
Will be selected by the chairperson (s) of the activity and may not be consistent with
child nutrition guidelines.
• Limit portion sizes of foods and beverages sold individually to those listed below:
• The portion size of a la carte entrees and side dishes, including potatoes, will not be greater than the size of comparable portions offered as part of school meals.
Fruits and non-fried vegetables are exempt from portion-size limits.
Fundraising Activities. To support school fundraising activities the above guidelines for child nutrition will not be enforced so as to encourage fundraising activities. The school will make available a list of ideas for alternative fundraising activities.
Snacks. Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will be at the discretion of the teaching staff and after-school program director and may not be inconsistent with child nutrition guidelines. Outside food cannot be brought into school for parties during lunch, ex: Pizza, cupcakes, etc. These items may be served in the classroom, not in violation of the Federal Lunch Program.
Rewards. The use of foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above), as rewards for academic performance or good behavior will be used at the discretion of the Principal.
Celebrations. Celebrations, (birthdays) that involve food during the school day will be held at the discretion of the teaching staff in each classroom. The school will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.
School-sponsored Events (such as, Fish Fry, Family Fun Night, etc, but not limited to, athletic events, dances, or performances). Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day will be selected by the St. Francis De Sales Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and may not be inconsistent with child nutrition guidelines.
III. NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PROMOTION AND FOOD MARKETING
Nutrition Education and Promotion. St. Francis De Sales School aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
• promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;
• emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical
• links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community
• includes training for teachers and other staff.
Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting
Students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward 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 time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television;
• opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into each day through recess.
Communications with Parents. The school will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The school will send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on school websites, and occasionally 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 school will provide parents a list of foods that meet the school’s snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities. In addition, the school will provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.
The school will provide information about other school-based physical activity opportunities 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, special events, or physical education homework.
Food Marketing in Schools. School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, schools will limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually (above). School-based marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is prohibited. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.
Examples of marketing techniques include the following: logos and brand names on/in vending machines, books or curricula, textbook covers, school supplies, scoreboards, school structures, and sports equipment; educational incentive programs that provide food as a reward; programs that provide schools with supplies when families buy low-nutrition food products; in-school television, such as Channel One; free samples or coupons; and food sales through fundraising activities. Marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors (and are therefore allowable) include: vending machine covers promoting water; pricing structures that promote healthy options in a la carte lines or vending machines; sales of fruit for fundraisers; and coupons for discount gym memberships.
Staff Wellness. St. Francis De Sales School highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle by encouraging healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle. The staff wellness committee should distribute its plan to the school health council annually.
IV. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OPPORTUNITIES AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Physical Education (P.E.) K-8. All students in grades K-8, including students with disabilities, special health-care needs, and in alternative educational settings, will receive physical education for the entire school year. All physical education will be taught by a certified physical education teacher.
(e.g., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement. Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Daily Recess. All elementary school students will have at least 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.
Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School. The school will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs as finances permit. 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.
After-school child care and enrichment programs will provide and encourage – verbally and through the provision of space, equipment, and activities – periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.
Physical Activity and Punishment. Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or indefinitely 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 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 will not be available to students, staff, and community members unless prior permission is granted by the appropriate personnel.
V. MONITORING AND POLICY REVIEW
Monitoring. The Cafeteria Manager will ensure compliance with established school-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. In each school, the principal or the Cafeteria Manager will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school’s compliance to the school district superintendent or designee.
School food service staff, at the school, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the school principal. In addition, the school will report on the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes. If the school has not received a SMI review from the state agency within the past five years, the school will request from the state agency that a SMI review be scheduled as soon as possible.
The Cafeteria Manager will develop a summary report every three years on school-wide compliance with the school’s established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within the district. That report will be provided to all school health councils, parent/teacher organizations, school principal, and school health services personnel in the school.
Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, the school will review our nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements. The school, will as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.