STUDENT WELLNESS Policy Code: 6140
The board recognizes that it is important for students to maintain their physical health and get proper nutrition in order to take advantage of educational opportunities. The board further recognizes that student wellness and proper nutrition are related to a student’s physical well-being, growth, development and readiness to learn. The board is committed to providing a school environment that promotes student wellness, proper nutrition, nutrition education and regular physical activity as part of the total learning experience.
A. School Health Advisory Council
The superintendent will appoint a School Health Advisory Council to help plan, implement and monitor this policy as well as other health and nutrition issues within the school system. The council will serve as an advisory committee regarding student health issues. The council may examine related research and laws, assess student needs and the current school environment, review existing board policies and administrative regulations, collaborate with appropriate community agencies and organizations, and help raise awareness about student health issues. The council will assist in developing the student wellness policy and recommend to the board other policy recommendations related to health issues necessary to promote student wellness.
The council will be composed of school system, local health department and community representatives to provide information in the following eight areas: safe environment, physical education, health education, staff wellness, health services, mental and social health, nutrition services and parent/family involvement. Of those appointed to the council, there will be at least one person from each of the following groups: school board member, school system administrator, system food service representative, student, parent/guardian and member of the public.
The council will provide periodic reports to the board regarding the status of its work. In addition, the council will assist the superintendent in creating an annual report that includes the minutes of physical activity and the minutes of physical education and/or healthful living education received by students in the system each school year, as well as any other information required by the State Board of Education.
B. Nutrition Education
The board believes that promoting student health and nutrition enhances readiness for learning and increases student achievement. The goals of nutrition education are (1) to provide appropriate and effective instruction for the acquisition of behaviors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle for students and (2) to teach, encourage and support healthy eating by students.
The board will provide nutrition education within the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study and Grade Level Competencies adopted by the State Board of Education. Nutrition education will be designed to provide all students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy lives. Students should learn to address nutrition-related health concerns through age-appropriate nutrition education lessons and activities.
Nutrition education should extend beyond the school environment by engaging and involving families and communities. School system personnel may coordinate with agencies and community organizations to provide opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition. School system personnel are to work to disseminate consistent nutrition messages throughout the school system, schools, classrooms, cafeterias, homes, community and media.
C. Physical Education and Physical Activity
The goal of the physical education program is to promote lifelong physical activity and provide instruction in the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong participation in physical activity. Physical Education is to be taught in an environment where students can learn, practice and receive assessment on age appropriate skills as defined in the North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study.
School personnel should strive to provide opportunities for age- and developmentally-appropriate physical activity during the day for all students, so that students can learn to exhibit a physically active lifestyle. A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity must be provided daily by schools for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. Such activity may be achieved through a regular physical education class, recess, dance, classroom energizers and/or other curriculum-based physical activity programs. Principals are directed to work with their teachers to ensure that students meet the minimum physical activity requirement.
To ensure that students have ongoing opportunities for physical activity and maintain a positive attitude towards physical activity, structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity shall not be taken away from students as a form of punishment. In addition, severe and inappropriate exercise may not be used as a form of punishment for students.
D. Nutrition Guidelines
Consistent with policy 6200, Goals of Student Food Services, all foods available in the system’s schools during the school day that are offered to students should help promote student health, reduce childhood obesity, provide a variety of nutritional meals and promote life-long healthy eating habits.
Foods provided through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs must comply with federal nutrition standards. In addition, food selections also must be consistent with statewide nutrition standards established by the State Board of Education and with board policy 6230, Nutritional Standards for Food Selection.
Competitive foods must meet State Board of Education nutrition standards as well as nutrition standards established by the superintendent pursuant to policy 6230. In addition, all vending machine sales must comply with the requirements of G.S. 115C-264.2 and Eat Smart: North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools. Competitive foods are defined as foods offered at school other than through the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs including food, snacks and beverages from a la carte menus, vending machines and outside suppliers.
E. Other School-Based Activities to Promote Wellness
In addition to the standards discussed above, the board adopts the following goals for school-based activities designed to promote wellness:
- System schools will provide a clean and safe meal environment;
- Students will be provided adequate time to eat meals;
- Drinking water will be available at all meal periods and throughout the school day;
- Professional development will be provided for system nutrition staff;
- To the extent possible, the system will utilize available funding and outside programs to enhance student wellness;
- Food will not be used in the schools as a punishment or as a reward prior to the serving of the last school lunch.
- As appropriate, the goals of this student wellness policy will be considered in planning all school based activities; and
- Administrators, teachers, food service personnel, students, parents/guardians and community members will be encouraged to serve as positive role models to promote student wellness.
F. Guidelines for Reimbursable Meals
The director of child nutrition shall ensure that school system guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidelines issued for schools in accordance with federal law.
G. Implementation and Review of Policy
The superintendent or his or her designee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of this policy and monitoring system schools, programs and curriculum to ensure compliance with this policy, related policies and established guidelines or administrative regulations. Each principal must report to the superintendent or designee regarding compliance in his or her school. Staff members responsible for programs related to student wellness also must report to the superintendent or designee regarding the status of such programs.
The superintendent is directed to report annually to the board on the system’s compliance with laws and policies related to student wellness. The report may include the following items:
- an assessment of the school environment regarding student wellness issues;
- an evaluation of food services programs;
- a review of all foods and beverages sold in schools for compliance with established nutrition guidelines;
- a list of all activities and programs conducted to promote nutrition and physical activity;
- information provided in the report from the Health Schools Advisory Council, as described in section A, above; and
- suggestions for improvement to policies or programs.
Legal References: The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, P.L. 108-265, Sec. 204; National School Lunch Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §1751, et seq.; G.S. 115C-264.2, -264.3; State Board of Education Policy # HSP-S-000; Eat Smart: North Carolina’s Recommended Standards for All Foods in Schools, NC Department of Health and Human Services, NC Division of Public Health (2004), http://www.nutritionnc.com/ResourcesForSchools/pdf/2006/resourceFiles/eatSmartStandards.pdf
Adopted: January 16, 1996; May 22, 2006
Revised: January 31, 2006, September 14, 2009