The Board recognizes that there is a link between nutrition education, the food served in schools, physical activity, environmental educational and ongoing wellness efforts. The Board further recognizes the important connection between student learning, a healthy diet and general wellness. It is recognized that the district has a role, in collaboration with the community at large, to model and actively practice the promotion of student and family health, including physical activity, good nutrition, sustainable agriculture and positive environmental practices. The Board acknowledges research which posits that:
Many behaviors that inhibit learning and lead to classroom disruptions, such as shortened attention span, fatigue, and lethargy can be linked to hunger and inadequate nutrition.
Childhood obesity has reached alarming levels in the state of Washington and overweight young people are at higher risk for developing serious long-term health problems, many of which can be ameliorated through diet and regular physical activity, especially if promoted at an early (school) age.
Well-nourished young people are less frequent visitors to the health room, have better attendance, are less frequently tardy, and generally are more able to learn and participate in school activities at a positive level, and
Fresh, seasonal, locally grown foods are a primary and recommended source of nutrition for young people.
The Board also acknowledges the State and Federal mandate that requires school districts to develop Wellness policies and procedures, with specific inclusion of Nutrition Education, Nutrition Guidelines, Assurance, Measurement of Impact, and Involvement of Diverse Representatives.
NUTRITION EDUCATION (Set goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness.)
NUTRITION EDUCATION GOALS: The Board directs the Superintendent to develop procedures and practices to ensure that:
- No student in the district should go hungry during school
- An economically sustainable meal program makes available a healthy and nutritious breakfast, lunch, and snack to those participating in the meal program.
- An instructional food garden and a Farm-to-School program will be developed on school grounds and/or access provided to such, of sufficient size to provide students with experiences in food preparation from tilling, sowing and growing to harvesting, preparation, and consumption.
- Learning opportunities will be presented to all students, in an integrated-curriculum, manner as much as possible, to learn about nutrition and wellness, including consideration of the school cafeteria as a venue for dissemination of information.
- Consideration of recycling and composting shall be included in the implementation of this policy in its varied applications.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GOALS: The Board directs the Superintendent to develop procedures and practices to ensure that:
Physical Education and other teachers include learning opportunities that connect and demonstrate the interrelationship between physical activity, nutrition, and wellness.
Health and fitness curriculum are developed that are consistent with State EALRs.
District physical education opportunities comply with State regulations, including matters of time and frequency.
Students are provided outdoor exercise and physical activity opportunities, as appropriate and as weather permits.
Elementary students have daily opportunity for unstructured but supervised recess and/or other physical activity, in an outdoor environment as much as possible.
OTHER SCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITES: the District will further enhance the promotion of nutrition education, environmental stewardship, and wellness in as many other school-based activities as appropriate, practical, and effective.
NUTRITION GUIDELINES (Establish nutrition guidelines for all foods on campus during the school day). The following nutrition guidelines will be incorporated into procedures and practices that the Board directs the superintendent to develop:
Qualified students will be made eligible for free and reduced meals at school.
The nutritional value of the food served will, at a minimum, meet the current USDA dietary Guidelines, and whenever possible significantly improve upon those guidelines.
The District food program will support and utilize local foods whenever possible, including school-grown products, and menus will be developed to complement local growing seasons and availability of foods.
Foods offered to students during the day, as snacks, incentives, etc., will conform to the goals of this policy, as will fundraisers that utilize food.
The use of foods that contain potential harmful resides of agricultural chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, waxes, and other agents will be reduced or eliminated by efforts to purchase or use foods grown without such agents whenever possible.
Vending machines and snack bars shall only sell foods that conform to the goals of this policy, during school hours, and whenever possible, after school hours.
When the district uses Federal food commodities, such selections should reflect the highest nutritional value possible, and whenever possible should not supplant the use of local or school-grown organic food products.
The Superintendent will review this policy annually, and the procedures and practices generated from this policy, and ensure that these policies procedures and practices are not less restrictive than federal regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture or state law.
MEASUREMENT OF IMPACT (Establish a plan for measuring the impact and implementation of the wellness policy). The Superintendent will establish a standing Wellness Committee whose charges shall include annual review of the programs, served-foods, and other elements of this policy to monitor the overall effectiveness of the policy and its procedures and practices, monitor compliance with state and federal regulations, and make recommendations to the Superintendent and the Board of Directors for continued effective implementation of this policy. The Wellness Committee shall include representatives from staff, administration, parents, students, food services personnel, and community. The Superintendent assumes responsibility for this evaluative component of this policy.
INVOLVEMENT OF DIVERSE REPRESENTATIVES: This policy was developed with input from parents, community, local farmers, students, staff, food services personnel, administrators, and others in preparation for final consideration by the Board of Directors.