NUTRITION AND ENVIRONMENTAL GUIDELINES
The Administrative Guidelines outlined within this document are intended to create a school environment that protects and promotes the health of our students. Our commitment is to provide nutrition education and regular physical activity, as well as access to nutritious foods for all students.
I. USDA SCHOOL MEALS AND SNACKS
School meals will include a variety of healthy choices while accommodating special dietary needs and ethnic and cultural food preferences. All schools shall participate in the USDA school breakfast and school lunch programs. Schools eligible for the Fruit and Vegetable program will apply to implement this program. The schools will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the over-identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-priced meals. Food and nutrition services will utilize electronic identification and payment systems and promote the availability of school meals to all students. The schools will also make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to negative meal balance. Under no circumstances shall any student be turned away from a USDA meal. Under no circumstances shall any student receive restricted choice related to USDA meal options provided to students (see guidelines 112.2).
A. USDA Standards for Meals and Food Service Staff
- All foods and beverages made available on campus (including concessions, school stores, a la carte cafeteria items, etc.) during the school day shall be consistent with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and applicable federal rules and regulations.
- The Director of Food and Nutrition Services shall ensure that all reimbursable meals meet nutrition standards mandated by the USDA, as well as any additional state nutrition standards that go beyond USDA requirements;
1. All such items shall be appropriate to the school setting.
2. In the event a written complaint is filed regarding the approval or disapproval of any item, the Superintendent or designee and the Director, after review, shall make the final determination.
The Director of Food and Nutrition Services shall be responsible for the school district’s food service program. Duties shall include monitoring nutrition guidelines and procedures for the selection of foods and beverages made available on campus to ensure food and beverage choices are consistent with current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The school meal programs will be administered by a dietician or nutritionist with school meal experience. If the district does not employ staff with this expertise, consultants will be used. The schools shall provide the opportunity for continuing professional development for all food and nutrition service personnel. All food and nutrition service staff will be provided training on USDA meal plans/reimbursable meals so they can properly advise students as to the meal components they may/must take, as well as cooking techniques, recipe implementation, sanitation, and food safety;
All menus will be reviewed by the Director of Food and Nutrition. When this is not feasible, sample USDA menus or USDA software for menu review may be used.
The schools shall make every effort to provide students with sufficient time to eat after sitting down for school meals and will schedule meal periods at appropriate times during the school day.
B. Meal Environment
- Meals will be served in a clean and pleasant setting and under appropriate supervision. Rules for safe behavior will be consistently enforced.
- The High School is a limited open campus. Students in 11th and 12th grades may apply to be eligible to leave the campus during the day and may be approved based on parent approval and qualifying standards determined at the high school level. Students in the 9th and 10th grades are not permitted to leave the school grounds during the school day.
- Schools will make every effort to provide students with sufficient time to eat after sitting down (approximately 20 minutes) for school meals and will schedule meal periods at appropriate times during the school day.
- The elementary schools, grades K-5, are encouraged to schedule recess time before lunch when possible.
- Tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities will not be scheduled during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities.
- The schools shall work to provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks and teachers, food and nutrition and school staff will remind students to make use of them.
- Information on the nutritional content and ingredients of meals will be found on menus, in school newsletters and/or the district web-site. Parents/guardians and students will be informed that information is available and information shall be kept up-to-date.
C. Meal Promotion
- Participation in school meal programs will be promoted. Parents/guardians will be notified of the availability of the breakfast, lunch and summer food programs and will be encouraged to determine eligibility for reduced or free meals. The District will, to the extent possible, arrange bus schedules and utilize methods to serve school breakfasts that encourage participation, including serving breakfast in the cafeteria or “grab-and-go” breakfast in the classroom.
- Foods served as part of the Before and Aftercare (childcare) programs run by the school must meet USDA standards if they are reimbursable under a school meals program. Otherwise they must meet the nutrition standards for competitive foods outlined below. Foods served as part of the Before and Aftercare (child care) programs run by an outside organization (e.g., YMCA) must meet the district’s nutrition standards for competitive foods outlined below.
II. FOOD AND BEVERAGES OUTSIDE REIMBURSABLE MEALS
A. Competitive Foods and Beverages
All foods and beverages sold on school grounds to students outside of reimbursable school meals are considered “competitive foods.” Competitive foods include items sold a la carte in the cafeteria, from vending machines, school stores and for in-school fundraisers during the school day*.
All competitive foods must comply with the USDA Smart Snacks in School standards (See Wellness Attachment), as well as all applicable state standards. Foods served as part of the Before and Aftercare (child care) programs and clubs must also comply with these nutrition standards unless they are reimbursable under USDA school meals program, in which case they must comply with all applicable USDA standards.
Competition for food sales with the School Lunch Program is prohibited by the School District’s participation in the federal school lunch program. Competition of non-nutritious food sales with the School Lunch Program during the school day is prohibited. The school principal shall regulate the hours of operation of any vending machine, school store or concession stands. The food and beverage products dispensed by vending machines or concession stands operated on campus outside the regular school day shall strive to provide nutritious substitutions for high sugar and fat content items as evaluated by the Food and Nutrition Services Director.
The schools shall encourage all students to make age appropriate, healthy selections of foods and beverages, including those sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs, and after school, such as through vending machines, fundraising events, concession stands, and student stores.
*School day is defined by the USDA as the period from midnight before, to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day.
B. Other Foods and Beverages Made Available to Students
Student wellness will be a consideration for all foods served to students on the school campus, including those foods provided through:
1. Celebrations and parties. Food and beverages will not be part of classroom celebrations, parties or student birthday recognition events. The District will make available to parents a list of non-food celebration ideas.
2. Any classroom snacks will follow USDA Smart Snacks in School guidelines.
C. Rewards and Incentives
The use of food or beverages as a reward should follow USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines (unless this practice is allowed by a student’s individual education plan or behavior intervention plan) and will not withhold food or beverage as a punishment.
The sale or distribution of food and beverage products by individuals for consumption during the school day, as a fund raising activity, shall follow USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines. However, preorders for distribution and consumption after school may be allowed at the discretion of the school principal. Non-food fundraising is promoted and activities that promote physical activity are encouraged. The District will make available to parents and teachers a list of healthy fundraising ideas.
E. Access to Drinking Water
- Students and school staff members will have access to free, safe, fresh drinking water at all times throughout the school day. Water jugs and cups will be available in the cafeteria if water fountains are not present, Supervisory staff will facilitate access to water in the cafeteria. Students will be allowed to bring drinking water from home into the classroom.
- Water will be promoted as a substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). The District prohibits the selling of food and beverages containing caffeine and non-nutritive sweeteners to elementary and middle school students.
- Maintenance will be performed on all water fountains regularly to ensure that hygiene standards for drinking fountains, water jugs, hydration stations, water jets, and other methods for delivering drinking water are maintained.
III. NUTRITION EDUCATION AND PROMOTION
The Healthy Hunger – Free Act (The Act) requires that wellness policies include goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness in a manner that the school district determines appropriate.
A. The District will encourage and support healthy eating by students and engage in nutrition education and promotion that is:
1. Offered as part of a sequential and comprehensive K-12 program designed to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health.
2. Part of health education classes as well as classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social science and elective subjects, where appropriate.
Students will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout schools, classrooms, cafeterias, and school media. The schools shall model, encourage and support healthy eating by students and engage in nutrition promotion.
1. Nutrition promotion can include participatory activities such as contests, promotions, farm visits, and experience working in school gardens. Nutrition promotion shall be designed to be enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, and includes participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, and field trips.
2. The nutrition education program may be linked to school meal programs, school gardens, food and nutrition promotion, after-school programs, and farm-to-school programs.
3. Nutrition education may be offered in the cafeteria as well as the classroom, with coordination between the food and nutrition services staff and teachers.
4. Nutrition education will promote fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and proper portion sizes.
5. Students will have opportunities to taste foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugar.
6. Staff members responsible for nutrition education will participate in relevant professional development (e.g., training on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and how to teach the guidelines).
7. Staff will only use approved nutrition curriculum in the classroom. Curriculum developed by corporate interest is prohibited.
8. Nutrition education will be provided to families via handouts, newsletters, postings on the web-site, presentations and/or workshops. The school menu will be posted online.
9. Staff is strongly encouraged to model healthful eating habits, and discouraged from eating in front of children/sharing food with children during regular class time, outside of activities related to the nutrition education curriculum.
Specifically the nutrition curriculum will encompass:
- Promotion of adequate nutrient intake and healthy eating practices;
- Skill development, such as reading labels to evaluate the nutrient quality of foods, meal planning, and analysis of health information
- Examination of the problems associated with food marketing to children;
- Nutrition themes including, but not limited to USDA’s MY Plate, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adequate nutrient intake, body image and food safety.
School –based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, the following guidelines apply:
- Schools will restrict food and beverage marketing to the promotion of only those foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards set forth in the District Wellness Policy;
- Smarter lunchroom techniques will be used to encourage fruit, vegetable, dry beans and pea choices.
- Examples of marketing techniques include:
- Brand names, trademarks, logos, or tags, except when placed on a physically present food or beverage product or on its container.
- Displays, such as on vending machine exteriors.
- Corporate brand, logo, name, or trademark on school equipment, message boards, scoreboards, or uniforms
- Advertisements in school publications or school mailings
- Sponsorship of school activities, fundraisers, or sports teams;
- Educational incentive programs such as contests, or programs that provide schools with supplies of funds when families purchase specific food products
- Free samples or coupons displaying advertising of a product
V. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
A. Physical Education
All K-12 students will receive physical education. Physical Education will be based on the Minnesota Physical Education Standards Fall 2017 and coordinated with the National Health Education Standards (K-12). All K-12 students will receive physical education. Master scheduling will strive to provide 60 minutes per week for elementary school students, 1 full class period daily for middle school students for 1 grading period per year, 1 full class period daily for high school students with 1 full year (2 semesters) required for graduation. All physical education classes (K-12) will be taught by licensed teachers who are certified or endorsed to teach physical education at a teacher to student ratio planned to be no greater than 40:1. Physical education programs will meet the needs of all students, including students with disabilities, special health-care needs, and students in alternative educational settings, and actively teach cooperation, fair play, and responsible participation.
Student involvement in other activities, including those involving physical activity (e.g. interscholastic or intramural sports), will not be substituted for physical education.
- Physical education classes will count toward graduation and GPA.
- Waivers, exemptions, or substitutions for physical education classes will not be granted
- The school prohibits the use of physical activity and withholding of physical education class and other forms of physical activity as punishment
- All physical education classes will be taught by a qualified physical education teacher and at least 80% of time will be spent in moderate to vigorous activity
- The school will provide adequate space/equipment and conform to all safety standards
- Physical education staff will receive professional development on a yearly basis
- Students missing class will be encouraged to make up missed physical activity time by participating in an equivalent physical activity, including at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity (examples include intramural athletics, interscholastic athletics, documented exercise, etc.)
B. Physical Activity
All students will have opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Classroom health education will reinforce the knowledge and skills needed to maintain a physically active lifestyle. Opportunities for physical activity shall be incorporated into other subject lessons, where appropriate. Classroom teachers shall provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate. The district encourages teachers to serve as role models by being physically active alongside the students. The district offers extra and co-curricular activities. Through formal joint of shared-use agreements, indoor and outdoor physical activity facilities are spaces that will be open to students, families, and the community outside of school hours.
All elementary school students will have supervised recess before or after the lunch period, during which moderate to vigorous physical activity will be encouraged. Outdoor recess will only be withheld in the event of extreme weather, as defined by the district. In the event that recess must be held indoors, teachers and staff will follow indoor recess guidelines to ensure adequate physical activity for students.
D. Physical Activity Programs
Elementary, middle, and high school will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs and intramural programs. High school and middle school will offer interscholastic sports programs to all students.
E. Safe Routes to School
The school district will assess and, if necessary and to the extent possible, make needed improvements to make it safer and easier for students to walk and bike to school. For example, crossing guards may be stationed around the school to facilitate safe walking and biking school commutes, and bike racks will be available. The school district will work together with local public works, public safety, and/or police departments in those efforts.
VI. WELLNESS LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
This wellness policy was developed by the District Health, Safety and Wellness Committee, a group comprised of individuals from the following groups: parents/guardians, principals, teachers, food and nutrition service personnel, health service personnel, school board members, school administrators, and other interested persons (such as local public health). Policy revisions will take into account new research and evidence on health trends, new national and state standards and guidelines, new state and federal initiatives, local evaluation data, changing district priorities, and other related issues. Meetings are held 4 times during the school year. All meeting dates are posted on the district website and are open to the public.
The Superintendent or Designee charged with operational responsibility for ensuring that the District meets the requirements of the wellness policy.
The Principal of each school will develop an annual action plan to implement the District Wellness Policy, ensure compliance within the school and will report annually to the Superintendent or designee regarding compliance.
VII. POLICY IMPLEMENTATION AND PUBLICATION
After approval by the school board, the wellness policy will be implemented throughout the school district and an on-going District Health, Safety and Wellness Committee with community-wide representation will be maintained.
The District will post the Wellness Policy on its website. Information including the following shall be posted on the school district website before the start of the following school year.
VIII. ANNUAL REPORTING
The Superintendent or designee will annually inform the public about the content and implementation of the Wellness policy and make the Policy and any updates to the policy available to the public. The report shall be posted on the District website and provide the following information:
- The extent to which each school is in compliance with the wellness policy;
- Progress made in attaining the goals of the Policy
- Triennial assessment findings
- Web link of the Wellness Policy
- Contact details for committee leadership and information
At least once every three years, the District will evaluate compliance with the Wellness Policy to assess the implementation of the Policy and create a report that includes the following information:
- The extent to which schools under the jurisdiction of the District are in compliance with the Wellness Policy
- The extent to which the District’s Wellness Policy compares to model local wellness Policies; and
- A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the District’s Wellness Policy
The Superintendent or designee will be responsible for conducting the triennial assessment. The triennial assessment report shall be posted on the school district website and made available to the public
The school district will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the Wellness Policy. The records to be retained include, but are not limited to:
- District’s written Wellness Policy
- Documentation demonstrating compliance with community involvement requirements, including requirements to make the local school Wellness Policy and triennial assessment available to the public.
- Documentation of the triennial assessment of the local school Wellness Policy for each school under the District’s jurisdiction efforts to review and update the Wellness policy (including an indication of who is involved in the update and methods the District uses to make stakeholders aware of their ability to participate on the Wellness Committee)
- 29 U.S.C. § 794 (Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended)
- 42 U.S.C. § 1751 et seq. (Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act)
- 42 U.S.C. § 1771 et seq (Child Nutrition Act of 1966)
- 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended)
- P.L. 108-265 (2004) 204 (Local Wellness Policy)
- 7 U.S.C. § 5341 (Establishment of Dietary Guidelines)
- 7 C.F.R. § 210.10 (School Lunch Program Regulations)
- 7 C.F. R. § 220.8 (School Breakfast Program Regulations
- 42 U.S.C. § 1758b, Section 9A, Section 204 (Healthy Hunger -Free Kids Act of 2010)
- 7 CFR Parts 210 and 220 (Final Rule July 2016)
RATIFIED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: May 18, 2015
REVIEWED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:
- May 18, 2015
- June 12, 2017
- June 29, 2020