Policy H234: Student Wellness
The Hancock School Committee recognizes that student wellness and good nutrition are related to students’ physical and psychological well-being and their readiness to learn. The School Committee is committed to providing a school environment that supports student wellness, healthy food choices, nutrition education, and regular physical activity. The School Committee believes that students who learn and practice healthy lifestyles in their formative years may be more likely to be conscious of the importance of good nutrition and exercise as adults, practice healthy habits, and reduce their risk of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
1. Nutrition Standards
The Hancock School Department will ensure that meals provided by its Food Services Program meet the nutrition standards established by federal regulations. Sales of foods and beverages that compete with the school lunch program (and/or school breakfast program) must be in compliance with the School Committee’s policy EFE, Competitive Food Sales/Sales in Competition with the School Food Services Program.
This policy serves as assurance that Hancock School Department guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act.
3. Nutrition Education
Nutrition education will be integrated into the instructional program through the health education program and/or the curriculum as aligned with the content standards of Maine’s system of Learning Results. Nutrition education should focus on skills students need to adopt and maintain healthy eating behaviors. Students should receive consistent nutrition messages throughout the schools, including classrooms, cafeteria, and school-home communications.
4. Nutrition Promotion
Schools will support healthful eating by students and encourage parents/guardians to provide healthy meals for their children by providing consistent nutrition messages and information and by cooperation with other agencies and organizations.
5. Physical Activity
The Hancock School Department will strive to provide all students developmentally appropriate opportunities for physical activity through physical education classes, recess periods for elementary school students, and extracurricular activities (clubs, intramural and interscholastic athletics). School programs are intended to build and maintain physical fitness and to promote healthy lifestyles. The schools should encourage parents to support their children’s participation in physical activities, including available before- and after-school programs.
6. Other School-Based Wellness Activities
The schools, with prior approval of the Superintendent, may implement other appropriate programs that support consistent wellness messages and promote healthy eating and physical activity.
The School Committee may approve policy, regulations or guidelines for refreshments served at parties or celebrations during the school day or for food as rewards, or may delegate the responsibility for such regulations or guidelines to administrators at the district or school level.
The Hancock School Department may develop programs that encourage staff to learn and engage in healthy lifestyle practices.
7. Implementation and Monitoring
A. The Superintendent shall be responsible for the implementation of the wellness policy, for monitoring efforts to meet the intent of this policy, and for reporting to the School Committee on an annual basis.
B. Monitoring may include surveys or solicitation of input from students, parents, staff, and school administrators.
C. 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 food services 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, including suggestions for improvement in specific areas
5) Recommendations for policy and/or program revisions
8. Appointment and Role of the Wellness Committee
A. The School Committee shall appoint a district-wide Wellness Committee comprised of at least one of each of the following:
1) School Committee member;
2) School administrator;
3) Food Services Manager;
4) Student representative;
5) Parent representative; and/or
6) Community representative.
B. The Wellness Committee may also include:
1) School nurse;
3) Guidance counselor;
4) Social worker;
5) Community organization or agency representative;
6) Other staff, as designated by the School Committee; and/or
7) Other persons, as designated by the School Committee
C. Role of the Wellness Committee
1) The Wellness Committee shall serve as an advisory committee in regard to student 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.
2) With the prior approval of the Superintendent, the Wellness Committee may survey parents, students and the community and/or conduct focus groups or community forums.
3) The Wellness Committee shall provide periodic reports to the Superintendent and, as requested, to the School Committee.
9. Wellness Goals
The School Committee has identified the following goals associated with student wellness:
10. Goals for Nutrition Education
A. The schools will provide nutrition education that focuses on the skills students need to adopt and maintain healthy eating behaviors.
B. The schools’ nutrition education will be provided in a sequential, comprehensive health education program aligned with the content standards of the Maine system of Learning Results.
C. Nutrition education will be integrated into other subjects as appropriate to complement, not replace, the health education program.
D. The Hancock School Department will provide foods that meet or exceed the federal nutrition standards, adequate time for students to obtain food and eat, lunch scheduled at appropriate hours of the day, adequate space to eat, and a clean and safe meal environment.
E. Appropriate professional development will be provided for food services staff.
11. Goals for Nutrition Promotion
A. Hancock School Department staff will cooperate with agencies and community organizations to provide opportunities for appropriate student projects and learning experiences related to nutrition.
B. Consistent nutrition messages will be disseminated throughout the Hancock School Department in the classroom, the cafeteria, and school-home communications.
C. Administrators and staff will be encouraged to model nutritious food choices and eating habits.
D. Schools will encourage parents/guardians to provide healthy meals and snacks for their children though take-home materials or other means.
12. Goals for Physical Activity
A. 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.
B. Students will develop motor skills and apply them to enhance their coordination and physical performance.
C. Students will demonstrate responsible personal and social behaviors in physical activity settings.
D. The physical education curriculum will be aligned with the content standards of the Maine system of Learning Results.
E. Physical education classes will keep all students involved in purposeful activity for a majority of the class period.
F. Physical education classes will provide opportunity to learn for students of all abilities.
G. 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.
H. The schools will provide facilities adequate to implement the physical education curriculum for the number of students served.
I. Schools will promote efforts to provide opportunities for students to engage in age-appropriate activities on most days of the week in both school and community settings.
J. The schools will provide opportunities for physical activity through a variety of before- and/or after-school programs including, but not limited to, intramural sports, interscholastic athletics and physical activity clubs.
K. Appropriate professional development will be provided for physical education staff and other staff involved in the delivery of such programs.
13. Goals for Other School-Based Activities
A. Goals of the wellness policy will be considered when planning school or classroom parties, celebrations or events.
B. Parents will be encouraged to provide nutritionally sound snacks from home and food for classroom parties or events.
C. Schools will encourage maximum participation in school meal programs.
D. Schools will encourage parents and students to take advantage of developmentally appropriate community-based after-school programs that emphasize physical activity.
E. The schools will encourage parents to support their children’s participation in physical activity, to be physically active role models, and to include physical activity in family events.
F. As feasible, school physical activity facilities will be made available after school hours for student, parent and community use to encourage participation in physical activity.
G. School administrators, staff, parents, students and community members will be encouraged to serve as role models in practicing healthy eating and being physically active, both in the school environment and at home.
H. Student organizations will be encouraged to engage in fundraising projects that are supportive of healthy eating and student wellness.
I. School-based marketing of foods and beverages, such as through advertisements in school publications, school buildings, athletic fields, and other areas accessible to students should support the goals of the wellness policy.
J. The schools are encouraged to cooperate with agencies and community organizations to support programs that contribute to good nutrition and physical activity.
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