The U.S. Congress established a requirement in the Child Nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 2004, that all school districts with a federally-funded school meal program draft a local school wellness policy.
The law requires that the policy must, at a minimum, (1) include goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness, (2) establish nutrition guidelines for all foods available on each school campus during the school day with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity, (3) provide assurance that those guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance applicable to school meals issued by the Secretary of Agriculture, (4) establish a plan for measuring the implementation of the local wellness policy, including designation of one or more persons with operational responsibility for ensuring that the schools meet the wellness policy; and (5) involve parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, school board, school administrators, and the public, in the development of the school wellness policy.
Friendship Public Charter School (Friendship PCS) Board of Trustees will use the above requirements as a baseline and expand the policy to cover additional student wellness areas. Friendship PCS has adopted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP). The CSHP is an eight-component model that addresses all wellness policy minimums. The Friendship PCS Wellness Policy goals are as follows:
To integrate physical activity and nutrition education in all Friendship Public Charter Schools.
To coordinate Friendship PCS Food Services with school nutrition policy to reinforce messages about healthy eating and to ensure that foods offered in Friendship Schools promote good nutrition and contribute to the lifelong development of healthy, well-rounded, intellectually curious participants in the school and community.
To support a healthy school environment by providing school staff with training and professional development that focuses on physical activity and nutrition education in order to effect behavior change.
To involve Friendship PCS family members and the community in supporting and reinforcing nutrition education and the promotion of healthy eating/physical activity at all Friendship Schools.
To regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the Friendship PCS wellness policy and modify program strategies to increase the effectiveness of a healthy school environment.
The CSHP Model includes the following interactive components to meet all goals of the Local Wellness Policy.
Health Education: A planned, sequential, K – 12 curriculum that addresses the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health. The curriculum is designed to motivate and assist students to maintain and improve their health, prevent disease, and reduce health-related risk behaviors. It allows students to develop and demonstrate increasingly sophisticated health-related knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices. The comprehensive health education curriculum includes a variety of topics, such as personal health, family healthy, community health, consumer health, environmental health, sexuality education, mental and emotional health, injury prevention and safety, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, and substance use and abuse. Qualified, trained teachers provide health education.
Physical Education: A planned, sequential curriculum that provides cognitive content and learning experiences in a variety of activity areas such as basic movement skills; physical fitness; rhythms and dance; games; team, dual, and individual sports; tumbling and gymnastics; and aquatics. Quality physical education should promote, through a variety of planned physical activities, each student’s optimum physical, mental, emotional and social development, and should promote activities and sports that all students enjoy and can pursue throughout their lives. Qualified, trained teachers teach physical education.
Nutrition Services: Access to a variety of nutritious and appealing meals that accommodate the health and nutrition needs of all students. School nutrition programs reflect the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other criteria to achieve nutrition integrity. The school nutrition services offer students a learning laboratory for classroom nutrition and health education and serve as a resource for linkages with nutrition-related community services. Qualified child nutrition professionals provide these services.
Counseling and Psychological Services: Services provided to improve students’ mental, emotional, and social health. These services include individual and group assessments, interventions, and referrals. Organizational assessment and consultation skills of counselors and psychologists contribute not only to the health of students but also to the health of the school environment. Professionals such as certified school counselors, psychologists, and social workers provide these services.
Healthy School Environment: The physical and aesthetic surroundings and the psychosocial climate and culture of the school. Factors that influence the physical environment include the school building and the area surrounding it, any biological or chemical agents that are detrimental to health, and physical conditions such as temperature, noise, and lighting. The psychological environment includes the physical, emotional, and social conditions that affect the well-being of students and staff.
Health Promotion for Staff: Opportunities for school staff to improve their health status through activities such as health assessments, health education, and health-related fitness activities. These opportunities encourage school staff to pursue a healthy lifestyle that contributes to their improved health status, improved morale, and a greater personal commitment to the school’s overall coordinated health program. This personal commitment often transfers into a greater commitment to the health of students and creates positive role modeling. Health promotion activities have improved productivity, decreased absenteeism, and reduced health insurance costs.
Family/community Involvement: An integrated school, parent, and community approach for enhancing the health and well-being of students. School health advisory councils, coalitions, and broadly based constituencies for school health can build support for school health program efforts. Schools actively solicit parent involvement and engage community resources and services to respond more effectively to the health-related needs of students.
Vision/Statement of Responsibility
The Friendship Public Charter School Board of Trustees recognizes that nutrition education, food served in schools, and physical activity each affect student wellness. The Board also recognizes the important connection between a healthy diet and a student’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school.
The Friendship Public Charter School Board of Trustees recognizes that it is the school’s role, as part of the larger community, to model and actively practice, through policies and procedures, the promotion of family health, physical activity, and good nutrition.
The Friendship Public Charter School Board of Trustees further recognizes that the sharing and enjoyment of food and participation in physical activities are fundamental experiences for all District residents and are primary ways to nurture and celebrate our cultural diversity. These fundamental human experiences are vital bridges for building friendships, forming inter-generational bonds, and strengthening communities.
Whereas, a healthy diet increases a student’s ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school;
Whereas, each day, students and their parents trust that the foods offered at school are nutritious and safe, and the Friendship Public Charter School Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring the safety of foods provided at school;
Whereas, nationally, obesity rates have tripled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades, and physical inactivity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity;
Whereas, heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the United States, and major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, often are established in childhood.
Whereas, in the District of Columbia 14 percent of high school students are overweight and 17 percent are at risk for becoming overweight;
Whereas, in the District of Columbia 79 percent of high school students eat fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per day;
Whereas, in the District of Columbia 56 percent of high school students do not participate in sufficient vigorous physical activity and 81 percent of high school students do not attend daily physical education classes;
Whereas, community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies;
Thus, the Friendship Public Charter School Board of Trustees is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect student’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, it is the policy of the Friendship Public Charter School Board of Trustees that:
- Friendship PCS students will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
- Foods and beverages served or sold at Friendship Schools will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Friendship PCS will ensure that no student goes hungry during the school day.
- Friendship PCS will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing district-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.
- Qualified child nutrition professionals will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; will accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for students to eat.
- To the maximum extent practicable, all schools in the Friendship PCS district will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program [including after-school snacks], Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program [including suppers, if applicable]).
- Friendship Schools will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity and will establish links between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services.
DOWNLOAD: READ THE LOCAL WELLNESS POLICY