Wellness Policy/DOH Report
To help combat childhood obesity, Congress passed a law requiring each local educational agency participating in USDA’s school meals programs to establish a local wellness policy.
The main goal of nutrition education is to influence students’ eating behaviors to promote lifelong healthy eaters. In addition, the school sets forth the following nutrition education goals:
a) The school will put up posters throughout the facility in order to promote good eating habits and healthy food options. Other information will be available through the school website, flyers and/or school newsletter.
b) The school staff will attend in-services and/or nutrition trainings.
c) The school will support parents’ effort to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The school will send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on school website or through school flyers. The school will encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks. Such support will also include sharing information about physical activity and physical education through the website, newsletter, take-home materials or physical education homework.
Administrators, staff, and extracurricular groups shall ensure that all school activities, including classroom practices and incentives, are consistent with the sound nutrition practices taught in the classroom and implemented in the school meal program.
The curriculum will include daily Physical Education and to the extent possible, health, with emphasis on the importance of proper nutrition and exercise.
The School shall offer opportunities for the students to taste different fruits and vegetables as part of nutrition education.
Professional development will be offered, at least annually, to select staff on basic nutrition, serving, handling, marketing and promotion of nutritious foods.
The School’s unique location, inside the Miami Children’s Museum, on Watson Island, supplements the classroom’s nutrition instruction. The Museum provides a rich learning environment and many resources that encourage wellness, supplementing classroom instruction with regular visits to the Museum’s interactive exhibits such as the Hospital Room, the Dental Health, the Nutrition & the Publix sponsored exhibit.
The School also encourages parents to actively participate in their child’s health and nutrition education by inviting them to speak & share their knowledge on select health topics such as oral hygiene, healthy eating habits and obesity, as appropriate.
The primary goal for the School’s physical activity component is to provide students with opportunities to participate in physical activities and raise their awareness of the benefits of a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
The School will encourage physical activity across the curriculum that involves physical exertion of at least a moderate intensity level and for a duration sufficient to provide significant health benefits to students.
The School will provide 30 minutes of Physical Education to all students on a daily basis. The School will also give students periodic breaks during which they will be encouraged to stand and be moderately active.
Physical Education is taught by state-certified teachers, the student to teacher ratio is comparable to other curricular areas, and State developed standards are used.
The after-school program will also provide and encourage daily periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.
Employees will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.
All students are encouraged to participate in other activities that promote good health and healthy competition such as “Jump For Heart” and a school-sponsored Mini-Olympics.
Guidelines for All Foods and Beverages on School Campus
To form healthy eating habits in students, the School will implement standards to address the types of foods and beverages available to them. The School will also ensure that reimbursable school meals meet the NSLP requirements and nutrition standards.
The School will control the sale of foods and beverages competing with the NSLP approved food service program, including foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV).
Meals served through the National School Lunch Program 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 law:
• offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
• serve a variety of fat content milk; and,
• ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.
No foods or beverages will be sold individually outside the reimbursable meal programs. No vending machine or pupil store is available to students. Food and beverages sold or served on school grounds or at school-sponsored events during the normal school day shall meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Any vendor contract entered into for sales of competitive foods shall not include incentives for increasing students’ consumption or permit distribution of free products.
School sponsored events that occur at the School and after school hours do not need to comply with the set nutrition standards so long as the event takes place at least one-half hour after the end of the school day. The School encourages fundraisers that promote good health habits and discourages fundraisers that promote unhealthy foods. Unhealthy foods may be sold for fundraising only by pupils off school grounds or by pupils on school grounds ½ hour after the school day ends. Unhealthy beverages may be sold for fundraising if the sale occurs at the event after the school day or the sale takes place ½ hour after the school day ends.
The School discourages 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.
School staff will use food as a reward for student accomplishment sparingly. The withholding of food as punishment for students is prohibited.
Professional development will be provided, at least annually, for food service staff.
Other School Based Activities Designed to Promote Student Wellness.
The primary goal of this component is to create a school environment that provides consistent wellness messages and is conducive to healthy eating and being physically active.
The School promotes increased participation in school based nutrition programs by making the participation and the return of the application a high priority. The School 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 meals. Toward this end, the School will promote the availability of meals to all students.
The School will provide students with at least 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch; and will schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch will be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Whenever practical, the School’s caterer shall obtain fresh produce from local sources. Meals may be served in plates and/or bowls rather than in five compartment trays. School meals will be offered in an environment that encourages student interaction and socializing. Guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the USDA.
Teachers will not use identifiable brand names in their instruction unless they are found to be necessary to the lesson being taught and any commercial advertising on the school campus will comply with the developed Nutrition Standards. School personnel serve as nutrition educators and role models for healthy lifestyles. School’s staff is encouraged to model healthy eating by offering healthier choices at school meetings and events, and to refrain from using candy and snacks of minimal nutritional value as rewards to students.
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. School personnel will collaborate with parents to support these guidelines and the promotion of lifelong healthy nutrition habits.
School will allow community access to the School’s physical activity facilities outside the normal school day.
The School prohibits the sale or service of FMNV on school grounds or at school sponsored events during the school day.
For students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students will be provided with different opportunities for physical activity. Toward this end, the School will: discourage sedentary activities, such as watching television; playing computer games, etc; provide daily Physical Education, provide opportunities for physical activity to be incorporated into other subject lessons; and, encourage classroom teachers to provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.
Measurement and Evaluation
The Principal, or designee, will ensure compliance with the established wellness policy. The principal or designee will ensure compliance with the policy and will report on the school’s compliance to the School’s Governing Board on an annual basis.
How well the policy is being managed and enforced will be assessed on a year-to-year basis. The evaluation process will address the changes to nutrition education, physical activity, and the changes to the nutritional quality of foods available to students, that have occurred as a result of the wellness policy.
Assessments will be repeated annually to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.
The School will work with the caterer to provide variety of extra fruits & vegetables as well as work with internet resources that do not require funding.