C9: Nutrition and Wellness Policy

  • Policy Code: C9

    First Reading: February 21, 2017
    Second Reading: March 7, 2017
    Adopted: March 7, 2017

    It is the intent of the Essex Westford School District (EWSD) to comply with the local policy requirements of all Vermont State and Federal regulations pertaining to school health and wellness.

    Policy Statement
    It is the policy of EWSD to establish goals for the eight domains of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model. The underlying purpose of WSCC is to establish greater alignment, integration, and collaboration between health and education across the school setting to improve each child's cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. These eight domains include: health education, physical education & physical activity, nutrition environment & services, health services, counseling, psychological & social services, social & emotional climate, physical environment and employee wellness. With the objective of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity, the district will also establish nutrition guidelines for all foods available at school during the school day.

    I. Goals for Health Education

    1. The school district shall provide Comprehensive Health education as required by state law (currently 16 V.S.A. § 131, 16 V.S.A. § 909, and 16 V.S.A. § 906) and as described in State Board Rule 2000 Education Quality Standards.
    2. Health education and promotion programs shall be conducted by appropriately licensed staff members.
    3. To the extent practicable, health education and promotion may be integrated in core curricula areas such as science, family and consumer science and physical education courses, in addition to conventional health education courses.

    II. Goals for Physical Education & Physical Activity

    1. Schools shall adhere to the rules and standards set forth in the Vermont State Board of Education’s Vermont Education Quality Standards (as approved in April 2014) for physical education and physical activity. Physical education is a school-based instructional opportunity for students to gain the necessary skills and knowledge
      for lifelong participation in physical activity. Physical education is characterized by a planned, sequential K-12 curriculum that provides cognitive content and learning experiences in a variety of activity
    2. Each school shall offer options for students in grades K-12 to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity within or outside of the school day. Physical activity may include recess and
      movement built into the curriculum, but does not replace physical education classes.

    III. Goals for Nutrition Environment & Services

    1. The district shall ensure that guidelines for reimbursable school meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to sections (a) and (b) of section 9A(a) and (b) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.
    2. The district shall provide access to a variety of nutritious and appealing foods that accommodate the health and nutritional needs of all students.
    3. The district shall provide adequate space for eating and serving school meals.
    4. The district shall provide a clean and safe meal environment for students.
    5. The district shall establish meal periods that provide adequate time to eat and are scheduled at appropriate hours.
    6. Food shall not be used in district schools as a reward or punishment.
    7. The district shall provide training opportunities as appropriate for food service and other staff members in areas of nutrition and wellness.
    8. No foods of minimal nutritional value, as listed in 7 CFR 210, Appendix B and 7 CFR 220, Appendix B shall be sold in food service areas during breakfast and lunch periods.
    9. The sale of foods during meal periods in food service areas shall be allowed only if all income from the sale, including the sale of approved foods or drinks from vending machines, accrues to the benefit of the school, the school food service program, or the student organizations sponsoring the sale.
    10. To the extent practicable, the district shall ensure that foods offered at school other than through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast programs, including foods sold through vending machines, shall comply with the A la Carte and Vending Guidelines established by the Vermont Department of Health and Agency of Education.

    IV. Goals for Health Services

    1. The district shall ensure access or referral to health care services.
    2. The district shall promote the prevention and control of communicable disease and other health problems.
    3. Support sanitary conditions for a safe school facility and school environment.
    4. Provide emergency care for illness or injury, educational and counseling opportunities for promoting and maintaining individual, family, and community health.

    V. Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services

    1. The district shall provide a variety of prevention and intervention services that support the mental, behavioral, and social-emotional health of students and promote success in the learning process.
    2. Intentional collaboration with our local designated agency allows provision of social work services, crisis assessment, intensive therapy, and therapeutic educational services for students with significant mental health challenges. These services include but are not limited to school counselor services, educational support system
      interventions, special education, 504 and school psychologist services and assessment.

    VI. Social & Emotional Climate

    The district shall establish a school climate and culture that promote health, psychosocial growth and development by providing a safe and supportive learning environment.

    VII. Physical Environment

    The district promotes a healthy and safe physical school environment that promotes learning by ensuring the safety of students and staff. The physical school environment encompasses the school building and its contents, the land on which it is located, and the area surrounding it.

    VIII. Employee Wellness

    The district promotes a comprehensive school employee wellness approach that includes opportunities for staff members to pursue a healthy lifestyle which may have many benefits including improved morale and positive role modeling for students.

    IX. Policy Implementation

    1. The superintendent or his or her designee shall periodically monitor district programs and curriculum to ensure compliance with this policy and any administrative procedures established to carry out the requirements of this policy. The district shall periodically inform and update the public about the content and implementation of this policy, including the extent to which district schools are in compliance with this policy, the extent to which this policy compares to model local school wellness policies and a description of the progress made in attaining the goals of this policy.
    2. The district shall permit parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators and the general public to participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of this policy.

    The superintendent or his or her designee shall report at least annually to the board and to the public on the district’s compliance with law and policies related to student wellness. The report shall include information as to the content and implementation of this policy, and an assurance that district guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued for schools in accordance with federal law.

    Legal Reference(s):

    • 16 V.S.A. §§§ 131,909 & 906(b)(3)
    • Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.
    • Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.
    • Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, Section 204 of Public Law 111-296.
    • Code of Federal Regulations, 7 CFR Part 210 and Part 220