The Central Decatur School board promotes healthy students by supporting wellness, good nutrition and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment. The school district supports a healthy environment where students learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices. By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, schools contribute to the basic health status of students. Improved health optimizes student performance potential.
The school district provides a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors. The entire school environment, not just the classroom, shall be aligned with healthy school district goals to positively influence a student’s understanding, beliefs and habits as they relate to good nutrition and regular physical activity.
The school district supports and promotes proper dietary habits contributing to students’ health status and academic performance. All foods available on school grounds and at school-sponsored activities during the instructional day should meet or exceed the school district nutrition standards and in compliance with state and federal law. Foods should be served with consideration toward nutritional integrity, variety, appeal, taste, safety and packaging to ensure high-quality meals. See the Iowa Department of Education’s guidance on the Healthy Kids Act, https://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/learner.supports/heatlhy-kids-act.
The school district 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 district may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income; promote the availability of meals to all students; and/or use nontraditional methods for serving meals.
The school district will develop a local wellness policy committee comprised of representatives of the board, parents, leaders in food/exercise authority, employees and community members. The local wellness policy committee will develop a plan to implement and measure the local wellness policy and monitor the effectiveness of the policy. The Superintendent will monitor implementation and evaluation of the policy. The committee will report annually to the board regarding the effectiveness of this policy.
Specific Wellness Goals for
- Nutrition education, (see Appendix A)
- Physical activity, (see Appendix B)
- Other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness. (see Appendix C)
The nutrition guidelines for all foods available will focus on promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity will be developed and reviewed annually by the District Wellness Committee. (see Appendix D)
The board will monitor and evaluate this policy. (see Appendix E)
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq. (2005) Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq., Iowa Code 256.7(29), 256.11(6) 281 IAC 12.5(19), 12.5(20), 58.11
Nutrition Education and Promotion – Appendix A
Goal #1: Nutrition Education and Promotion – Schools will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion helping students develop lifelong healthy eating behaviors that:
- is offered at each grade level as part of a 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 subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences and elective subjects;
- includes enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste-testing, farm visits and school gardens;
- 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 physical activity;
- links with meal programs, other foods and nutrition-related community services; and,
- includes training for teachers and other staff.
Physical Activity – Appendix B
Goal #2: Physical Activity – Schools will provide students and staff with age and grade appropriate opportunities to engage in physical activity that meet federal and state guidelines, including the Iowa Healthy Kids Act. Actions for addressing physical activity include the following:
Daily Physical Education
The school district will provide physical education that:
- is for all students in grades K-12 for the entire school year;
- is taught by a certified physical education teacher;
- includes students with disabilities, students with special health-care needs may be provided in alternative educational settings; and,
- engages students in moderate to vigorous activity during at least 50 percent of physical education class time.
(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes a week for elementary students and 225 minutes a week for middle and high school students)
Elementary schools should provide recess for students that:
- is at least 20 minutes a day;
- is preferably outdoors;
- encourages moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment; and,
- discourages 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 and Punishment
Employees should not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.
Other School-Based Activities that Promote Student Wellness – Appendix C
Goal # 3 – Other school based activities that promote school wellness – Schools will support students, staff, and parents’ efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle, as appropriate. The goal(s) for addressing other school based activities that promote student wellness include the following:
Integrating Physical Activity into Classroom Settings
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 need opportunities for physical activity beyond the physical education class. Toward that end, the school district will:
- offer classroom health education that complements 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;
- discourage sedentary activities, such as watching television, playing computer games, etc.;
- 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.
Food Marketing in Schools
School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education, health promotion and the USDA’S Smart Snack Guidelines. The school district 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;
- prohibit school-based marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages;
- promote healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products; and
- market activities that promote healthful behaviors (and are therefore allowable) including: vending machine covers promoting water; pricing structures that promote healthy options in a la carte lines or vending machines; and sales of fruit for fundraisers.
Examples: Marketing techniques include, but not limited to, 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.
The school district values the health and 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.
Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods Available on Campus – Appendix D
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 law: https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/nutrition-standards-schools-meals .
- offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
- serve only low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally equivalent non-dairy alternatives (as defined by the USDA); and,
- ensure that half of the served grains are whole grain.
Schools will consider opportunities that meet goals of this policy through activities such as the following:
- engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods offered through the meal programs in order to identify new, healthful and appealing food choices; and
- share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students. (The information could be made available on menus, a web site, on cafeteria menu boards, placards or other point-of-purchase materials.)
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, schools will:
- operate the breakfast program, to the extent possible;
- notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program; and,
- encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials or other means.
Free and Reduced-Price Meals
The school district 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 district may:
- utilize electronic identification and payment systems;
- promote the availability of meals to all students.
Meal Times and Scheduling
The school district:
- will provide students with adequate and appropriate time for meals. It is recognized that guidelines suggest at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
- schedule meal periods at appropriate times
- will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks
Qualification of Food Service Staff
Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the meal programs. As part of the school district’s responsibility to operate a food service program, the school district will:
- provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals according to requirements https://www.fns.gov/school-meals/professional-standards ; and,
- provide staff development programs that include appropriate certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, nutrition managers and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.
Sharing of Foods
The school district 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.
Foods Sold Outside the Meal (e.g. vending, a la carte, sales)
All foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable meal programs (including those sold through a la carte [snack] lines, vending machines, student stores or fundraising activities) during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day will meet nutrition standards as required by state or federal law. For current state guidelines, click here http://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/learner-supports/healthy-kids-act.
There are two types of fundraising – regulated and other. Regulated fundraisers are those that offer the sale of foods or beverages on school property between the hours of 12 a.m. and 30 minutes after the last bell of the school day, and that are targeted primarily to PK-12 students by or through other PK-12 students, student groups, school organizations, or through on-campus school stores. Regulated fundraising activities must comply with the USDA’s Smart Snack guidelines https://www.fns.gov/healthierschoolday/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks . All other fundraising activities are encouraged, but not required, to comply with the state nutrition guidelines if the activities involve foods and beverages.
The school district encourages fundraising activities that promote physical activity. The school district will make available a list of ideas for acceptable fundraising activities.
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, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of meals,
children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages and other considerations. The school district will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel and parents via the school website: www.centraldecatur.org located under “Schools” tab, then under each building i.e. South Elementary, North Elementary, Jr./Sr. High.
If eligible, schools that provide snacks through after-school programs will pursue receiving reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program. Snacks served through the after-school program will follow USDA Smart Snack guidelines.
The school district discourages the use of 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 (including food served through meals) as a punishment.
The school district discourages the use of foods and beverages for celebrations and parties and encourages activity and games. If food and beverages are provided, the district encourages foods and beverages that provide a positive nutrient contribution.
A list of healthy party ideas is made available to parents and teachers via the school’s website: www.centraldecatur.org under the nutrition tab.
Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day will meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually. A list of possible choices is available on the school’s website www.centraldecatur.org under the nutrition tab or by contacting the school’s nutrition director.
All foods made available on campus adhere to food safety and security guidelines.
- All foods made available on campus comply with the state and local food safety and sanitation regulations. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans and guidelines are implemented to prevent food illness in schools. www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/servingsafe_chapter6.pdf
- For the safety and security of the food and facility, access to the food service operations are limited to child nutrition staff and authorized personnel.
Schools in which more than 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meal service in the summer. As such, the District will annually consider and evaluate sponsoring the Summer Food Service Program for at least four weeks between the last day of the academic school year and the first day of the following school year, and, preferably, throughout the entire summer vacation.
Plan for Measuring Implementation
The superintendent will ensure compliance with established school district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.
In each school:
- the principal will ensure compliance with those policies in the school and will report on the school’s compliance to the superintendent; and,
- food service manager/director, at the school or school district level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within food service areas and will report on this matter to the superintendent or principal.
In the school district:
- the school district will report on the school’s website, quarterly newsletter and or local newspaper the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes to the community. If the school district has not received a SMI review from the state agency within the past five years, the school district will request from the state agency that a SMI review be scheduled as soon as possible;
- the Nutrition Services Director will develop a summary report every three years on school district-wide compliance with the school district’s established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within the school district; and,
- the report will be provided to the school board and also distributed to all school wellness committees, parent/teacher organizations, principals and health services personnel in the school district.
To help with the initial development of the school district’s wellness policies, each school in the school district will conduct a baseline assessment of the school’s existing nutrition and physical activity environments and practices. The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled at the school district level to identify and prioritize needs.
Assessments will be repeated every three (3) years to help review policy compliance, assess progress and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, the school district will review the nutrition and physical activity policies and practices and the provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity. The school district, and individual schools within the school district will, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.