VERMILION PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

 LOCAL WELLNESS POLICY

June 5, 2006

 

 

Rationale

 

Section 204 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 now requires each Local Education Authority participating in the breakfast or lunch program authorized by the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to have a local wellness policy in place no later than the first day of the school year beginning after June 30, 2006. With the authorization of this act, the federal government recognizes that a coordinated effort is required by the entire community to plan and implement this policy.  The Vermilion Parish School Board believes these efforts involve adults serving as role models and community members being informed of the policies that improve the long-term health and well being of students. 

 

The link between nutrition and learning is well documented.  Healthy eating patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being.  Schools have a responsibility to provide an environment which encourages the establishment and maintenance of a lifelong, healthy eating pattern. 

 

A healthy school environment goes beyond school meals in the cafeteria.  A healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight requires a combination of healthy food choices and an appropriate amount of physical activity.  All foods made available on school campuses should offer children nutritious choices, and physical activity should be incorporated into the school day as often as possible.  The healthy, physically active child is more likely to be academically successful.

 

Goal 1:  Nutrition Education

 

  1. Nutrition Education will be integrated into other areas of the curriculum such as math, science, language arts and social studies when applicable.
  2. The school staff and teachers who practice in the areas of nutrition and physical activity will be properly qualified according to current professional standards and are encouraged to participate in professional development activities relating to their field.
  3. The Vermilion Parish school district will provide nutritional information that will encourage parents to provide safe and nutritious foods for their children when requested.
  4. Students will be encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast.
  5. Students will receive nutrition education that is interactive and teaches the skills they need to adopt healthy eating behaviors as addressed in the Louisiana Department of Education Comprehensive Curriculum.

 

Goal 2:  Physical Activity

 

1.        Physical education courses will be the environment where students learn, practice and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills and knowledge.

2.        Policies ensure that state certified physical education instructors teach all physical education classes.

3.        Elementary level schools will be encouraged to provide a daily recess period or be given the opportunities for physical activity during the school day through physical education classes or the integration of physical activity into the academic curriculum.

4.        Physical education includes the instruction of individual activities as well as competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage life-long physical activity.

5.        Schools are encouraged to provide adequate equipment for the students to participate in physical education.  Physical activity facilities on school grounds will be safe.

6.        The school should provide a curriculum that enhances a physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students, including those who are not athletically gifted. 

7.        Students should be given opportunities for physical activity through a range of extra curricular programs such as intramurals, interscholastic athletics, and physical activity clubs.

 

Goal 3:  Nutrition Standards for All Foods Available on School Campus During the School Day

 

  1. The School Nutrition program ensures that a reimbursable school meal meets the program requirements and nutrition standards set forth under the 7 CFR Part 210 and Part 220. 
  2. As per Department of Education State Memo #SFS-05-101, in accordance with Act #331 of the 2005 Louisiana Legislature, and SBESE Bulletin 1196, guidelines are outlined regarding healthy standards for foods and beverages sold on school grounds during the normal school day.
  3. Fundraising activities shall comply with the standards set forth in Act #331 of the 2005 Louisiana Legislature. (See Appendix A – Smart Fundraisers for Today’s Healthy Schools.)

 

Goal 4:  Other School-Based Activities Designed to Promote Student Wellness

 

  1. Provide a clean, safe, enjoyable meal environment for students.
  2. Encourage adequate time for students to enjoy eating healthy foods with friends, scheduled as near the middle of the school day as possible.
  3. Principals will address parental concerns such as kinds of foods available on their campus, sufficient mealtime, nutrition education, and physical activity.
  4. Students and staff are highly encouraged to promote and participate in school breakfast, lunch and snack programs when offered.  Menus will meet the nutrition standards established by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, conforming to good menu planning principles, and featuring a variety of healthy choices that are tasty, attractive, and of excellent quality available.
  5. Food safety will be a key part of the School Nutrition operation.
  6. School Nutrition staff and students will be given the opportunity to provide input on local, cultural, and ethnic favorites of the customers.
  7. All children up to but not including Grades 9 - 12 (High School) shall be required to eat lunch during meal times as set forth by each school principal.  Children not wishing to purchase a lunch at school must bring a lunch with them. All lunches brought from home should include healthy choices of food items and may not include carbonated beverages or other fruit beverages that are not 100% fruit or vegetable juice.  Water, 100% fruit or vegetable juice or milk purchased from the cafeteria are acceptable beverages for lunch.
  8. Food is not used as a reward or punishment for student behaviors, unless it is detailed in a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  (See Appendix B-Alternatives to Using Food As a Reward)
  9. Classroom snacks feature healthy choices.  (See Appendix C-Healthy School Snacks & Parties)

 

Assurance:

 

The Vermilion Parish School district will assure that guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of Section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act (42 U. S. C. 1779) and Section 9 (f) (l) and 17 (a) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U. S. C. 1758) (f) (l), 1766 (a), as those regulations and guidance apply to schools by their participation in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.

 

Measurement & Evaluation:

 

The committee chairman will be responsible for reconvening the committee for any reviews or revisions if deemed necessary.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix A

 

SMART FUNDRAISER’S FOR TODAY’S HEALTHY SCHOOLS

 

Raising money may present a constant challenge for schools.  School fundraisers may help pay for computers, field trips, athletics, music, art, and other programs that educate and enrich young lives – important programs that are not always covered by shrinking school budgets.  More than just raising money to pay for valuable programs, a well-run fundraiser can also be an experience that educates, builds self-esteem, provides community service, and promotes school and community spirit.

 

Fundraising doesn’t have to involve selling food items of limited nutritional value, such as candy.  Following fundraising ideas that offer alternatives to selling candy.  When healthy food choices are used as fundraising items, the healthy eating message presented in the schools is reinforced.  Some of the ideas even have the added benefit of providing additional physical activity opportunities for students.

 

Schools are selling a variety of non-food items such as:

 

*Gift wrap

*Magazine subscriptions

*Garden seeds

*Candles

*Discount coupon books

*Raffles of gift baskets

*Plants and flowers

*School spirit items

*Cookbooks

 

Other fundraising events could include:

 

*Car washes

*Walk-a-thons, bike-a-thons, skate-a-thons, etc.

*Family game nights

*Hire a student for a day – for odd jobs, babysitting services, etc. (with proceeds going to the school)

*3-on-3 basketball or soccer tournaments

*Silent auctions        *Talent shows

*Family skate nights

*Monday night football “Dads Night Out”

*Moms Night Out – restaurant discounts

*School Movie Night (free movies can be rented at the library)

*Raffle of dinner prepared by school faculty

*Fashion Show

*Dinner and a movie

*Dinner theatre (students perform play)

*Parent “principal of the day”             *Sell VIP parking spaces

 

Appendix B

 

ALTERNATIVES TO USING FOOD AS A REWARD

 

At school, home and throughout the community, kids are offered food as a  reward for “good” behavior.  Often these foods have little or no nutritional value but are easy, inexpensive and can bring about short-term behavior change.

 

There are many disadvantages to using food as a reward:

 

*It undermines nutrition education being taught in the school environment.

*It encourages over-consumption of foods high in added sugar and fat.

*It teaches kids to eat when they’re not hungry as a reward to themselves.

*Kids learn preferences for foods made available to them, including those that are unhealthy.

*Poor food choices and inadequate physical activity contribute to overweight and obese children.

 

Students Learn What They Live

 

Kids naturally enjoy eating healthy and being physically active.  Schools and communities need to provide them with an environment that supports healthy behaviors. Below are some alternatives for students to enjoy instead of being offered food as a reward at school.

 

Zero-Cost Alternatives

*Sit by friends     *Watch a video

*Read outdoors     *Teach the class

*Have an extra art time     *Enjoy class outdoors

*Have an extra recess     *Play a computer game

*Read to a younger class     *Get a “No Homework” pass

*Make deliveries to the office    *Listen to music while working

*Play a favorite game or puzzle     *Earn play money for privileges

*Walk with a teacher during lunch    *Eat lunch outdoors with the class

*Invite a “lunch buddy” to eat with      *Be a helper in another classroom

*Eat lunch with a teacher or principal     *Get “free choice” time at the end of the day

*Listen with a headset to a book on audiotape

*Have a teacher read a special book to the class

*Give a 5-minute chat break at the end of the day

 

Low-Cost Alternatives

*Select a paperback book

*Enter a drawing for donated prizes

*Take a trip to the treasure box (non-food items)

*Get stickers, pencils, and other school supplies

*Receive a video store or movie theatre coupon

*Get a set of flash cards printed from a computer

*Receive a “mystery pack” (notepad, folder, sports cards, etc.)

 

 

 

Appendix C

 

HEALTHY SCHOOL SNACKS & PARTIES

 

School can play a major role in helping students become fit, healthy and ready to learn. One way to accomplish this is for foods offered in schools to support lessons learned in the classroom regarding nutrition and physical activity.  Positive examples of making healthy eating choices and encouraging physical activity should be visible throughout the school.  Parties as well as cafeterias, school stores, vending machines, and after-school events offer opportunities for schools to reinforce the message that making healthy food choices and being physically active means a healthier body and a sharper mind.

 

Snack Ideas For School and Classroom Parties

 

Foods offered as school parties should add to the fun, not be the main focus.  Schools are responsible for helping students learn lessons about good nutrition and healthy lifestyles and students should practice these lessons during school parties.  Consider this list of healthy snack choices for classroom events.  Serving healthy foods and incorporating physical activities make a powerful statement.

 

*Fresh fruits and vegetables

*Baby carrots and other veggies with low fat dip

*Yogurt

*Trail mix

*Nuts and seeds

*Fig cookies

*Animal crackers, vanilla wafers, graham crackers

*Baked chips, baked cheetos, baked Doritoes

*Pretzels

*Low fat popcorn

*Granola bars

*Bagels with low fat cream cheese

*Soft pretzels and mustard

*Pizza (no extra cheese and no more than one meat)

*Pudding

*Frozen fruit bars

*String cheese

*Cereal bar

*Whole-grain cereal

*Nabisco 100 calorie snack packs

*Individual fruit cups

*Rice cakes including flavored

*Lean turkey sandwiches

*Whole grain crackers

*Single-serve lowfat or fat free milk (regular or unflavored)

*Bottled water (including unsweetened flavored water)

*100% fruit juice (small single-serves)