ABCC-AP: Healthy School & Nutrition Environment

  • PURPOSE

    The purpose of this policy is to develop healthy learners through a school environment that promotes and protects students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. It is the intent of the policy to establish goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities designed to promote student and staff wellness.

    West Fargo Public Schools engages students, parents, teachers, food service personnel, health professionals, school board, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing, and revising as needed, the district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.

    1. West Fargo Public Schools recognizes that nutrition education and physical education are essential components of the educational process and forming lifelong healthy behaviors, and that good health fosters student attendance and education.
    2. All students in grades K - 12 have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active to achieve daily recommendations for physical activity.
    3. Food and beverages sold at school when students are in session meet or exceed the Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards established by the USDA. Food and beverages served to students outside of the meal programs, such as class parties and celebrations, are encouraged to meet these same guidelines and make a positive contribution to nutrition and health.
    4. School meals are intended to be the main source of nutrition for students during the school day.

    NUTRITION EDUCATION & WELLNESS PROMOTION

    West Fargo Public Schools provides nutrition education as a part of a standards-based, sequential, age-appropriate, comprehensive program designed to provide students and their families with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health. Nutrition education in all district schools, K - 12:

    • is integrated into an existing or school-developed sequential, interdisciplinary, comprehensive K - 12 health education program that will be included as part of a K - 12 comprehensive curriculum.
    • links with school meal programs, other school foods, the coordinated school health program, after-school programs, and nutrition-related community services.
    • is taught by certified teachers at each grade level, providing skills and knowledge that are needed by students to adopt healthy eating behaviors and attitudes.
    • is communicated with consistent nutrition messages throughout schools, classrooms, staff lounges, and cafeterias, and promoted to parents through newsletters, the WFPS website, during parent-teacher conferences, and at school-sponsored open houses.

    School-based marketing shall promote healthy food/beverage choices that meet school meal standards or Smart Snacks in Schools standards and not allow advertising of less nutritious choices.

    West Fargo Public Schools encourages staff to promote and model healthy eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life through the provision of and involvement in wellness activities.

    USA CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS & SCHOOL MEALS

    West Fargo Public Schools uses the current federal regulations governing school meals to establish nutrition standards and provide clear guidance for all foods and beverages available everywhere on school grounds to encourage healthy choices for students.

    The Food Service Department offers affordable, nutritious, and appealing meals, snacks, and beverages, and to all students. Meals offer a variety of healthy choices and include cultural, ethnic, and other student preferences. Meals served in all district schools comply with the USDA National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meal patterns.

    West Fargo Public Schools:

    • promotes the participation of the USDA National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).
    • provides continuing professional development, including nutrition training for the Director of Food Service and Food Service Department employees. The district shall comply with applicable hiring requirements under federal regulations for new hires in the Food Service Department and shall comply with annual training requirements under federal regulations for all department personnel.
    • provides access to clean, free drinking water for students during the school day.
    • serves meals in clean and pleasant cafeteria settings.
    • provides students with adequate time to eat meals.
    • promotes healthy food and beverage choices to students using Smarter Lunchroom techniques in all school cafeterias.
    • provides nutrition analysis information of menu items to parents/guardians, students, and the public by displaying it on the district website.
    • incorporates local foods in the meal programs through Farm to School promotions in cafeterias and classrooms.
    • obtains student feedback through taste tests, surveys, or other means.
    • schedules elementary school lunch periods to follow recess, to the fullest extent possible.
    • schedules lunch periods midday between 10:00AM - 2:00PM.
    • discourages tutoring, club/organization meetings, or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat lunch during such activities.
    • encourages parents/guardians to call ahead and eat school lunch with their child(ren).
    • encourages cold lunches brought from home to meet standards for healthy meals.

    NUTRITION STANDARDS FOR COMPETITIVE AND OTHER FOODS AND BEVERAGES

    Competitive foods are those foods and beverages sold or made available (served) at school that fall outside of the meals and snacks served through federally reimbursed school breakfast and lunch. Therefore, any other food or beverage consumed at school shall help rather than hinder health and learning, and be served within age-appropriate serving sizes.

    West Fargo Public Schools complies with Smart Snacks in Schools standards or competitive food sales on campus during the school day and up to 30 minutes after the end of the school day, as defined by federal law.

    Vending machines offer water and other no-calorie or low-calorie beverages that meet Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines.

    Ala carte sales will meet or exceed Smart Snacks in Schools standards.

    Snacks Allowed During the Day

    Schools will encourage parents to send snacks for their student’s morning milk break that make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health.

    Rewards During the School Day

    Food rewards or incentives are not used in classrooms to encourage student achievement or desirable behavior unless this practice is allowed by students’ Individualized Education Plan (IEP); the district does not withhold food or beverages as a punishment.

    Celebrations Allowed During the School Day

    Celebrations and parties focus on activities rather than on food. School celebrations will follow the Competitive Nutritional Standards and Beverage Guidelines when choosing a treat. Birthday parties are celebrated one day per month and focus on activities.

    Fundraising Activities

    Schools encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity and healthy foods by informing and/or advising the decision regarding nutritional standards. School-sponsored events outside of the school day (such as but not limited to athletic events, dances, or performances) are encouraged to sell or serve healthy foods and beverages.

    EXCEPTION TO COMPETITIVE FOOD SALES

    Each school year, each school building is authorized to hold up to three on-campus fundraisers during school hours that do not comply with competitive food sales nutrition standards. Each building principal shall develop rules for requesting and receiving approval to hold fundraisers under this exception, which shall, at a minimum, prohibit such fundraisers from occurring during school mealtimes.

    Competitive food sale requirements do not apply to off-campus food sales and do not apply to foods sold on campus outside of the school day, defined as midnight until at least 30 minutes after the end of the school day.

    FOOD & BEVERAGE MARKETING

    Any foods or beverages marketed or promoted to students during the school day meet USDA Smart Snacks in Schools standards.

    • Displays such as vending machines and coolers may display graphics of water or other food items that meet Smart Snacks in Schools guidelines.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION, HEALTH EDUCATION, & PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

    The primary goals for physical education, health education, and physical activity are to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for overall health and physical wellbeing, to maintain positive decision making through goal setting, to ensure students’ regular participation in healthy choices and physical activity, to provide a comprehensive lifestyle management approach, and to enhance academic performance. Accordingly, the following guidelines for physical education, health education, and physical activity are established:

    Physical Education

    1. Physical education is standards-based, meeting or exceeding state guidelines and aligning to state-developed standards. West Fargo Public Schools meets or exceeds state law, requiring instruction in physical education through graduation, and/or in compliance with specialized IEP or 504 Plans for students with disabilities, special healthcare needs, and in alternative educational settings.
    2. A certified, highly qualified teacher provides physical education instruction.
    3. Physical education classes are held in facilities specific for physical education and using adequate equipment.
    4. Students spend at least 50% of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
    5. Physical education curriculum is written for grades K - 9. It is sequential and provides an opportunity for students to learn, practice, and be assessed on content, developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills, responsible behavior, and a lifestyle management approach to physical activity and fitness.
    6. Physical activity is not used as punishment, nor is the withholding of physical activity (recess or physical education) used as punishment.
    7. Student participation in athletics, clubs, or intramurals does not preclude participation in credit-bearing physical education classes.
    8. Elective courses in physical education are available and address a wide variety of physical education interests to provide knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.

    Health Education

    1. Health education is standards-based, meeting or exceeding state guidelines and aligning to state-developed standards. West Fargo Public Schools meets or exceeds state law, requiring instruction in health education through graduation, and/or in compliance with specialized IEP or 504 Plans for students with disabilities, special healthcare needs, and in alternative educational settings.
    2. A certified, highly qualified teacher provides health education instruction.
    3. West Fargo Public Schools works to meet health education class sizes of 30 students per class.
    4. General health curriculum is written for grades K - 6 and 8 - 9. It gives students a chance to learn, practice, and be assessed on content representing a broad range of physical and health-related knowledge that provides the opportunity to contribute as an informed citizen to society.
    5. Elective courses in health education are available to provide knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of health and wellness.

    Physical Activity

    Daily Recess

    All elementary school students have at least 20 minutes of supervised recess breaks daily, preferably outdoors and before lunch, during which school personnel facilitate moderate to vigorous physical activity, verbally and through the provision of space and equipment.

    Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting

    For elementary, as well as older students, to receive the recommended amount of at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day and for students to fully embrace physical activity as a personal behavior, other school opportunities outside of recess are available options (Appendix 11):

    • Incorporation of physical activity into other subject lessons (such as math, science, social studies, music, etc.)
    • Classroom teachers provide short physical activity breaks between lessons, classes, and/or standardized testing

    Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School

    West Fargo Public Schools offers physical activity programs, such as athletic programs in middle and high school and intramural programs or clubs for students in intermediate grades through high school, to provide a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students.

    West Fargo Public Schools encourages after-school childcare and enrichment programs, verbally and through the provision of adequate and safe space, equipment, and activities, to provide periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.

    Schools work with recreation agencies and other community organizations to coordinate and enhance opportunities available to students, the community, and staff for physical activity before, during, and after the school day, on weekends, and during school vacations.

    POLICY DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, & REVIEW

    West Fargo Public Schools encourages participation from the public, including parents/guardians, students, teachers, health professionals, food service staff, school board members, and other interested participants in the development and implementation of this policy.

    West Fargo Public Schools informs all stakeholders of the content, implementation, and assessment of the local wellness policy. As mandated by federal regulations, the wellness policy is periodically reviewed and updated with input from all stakeholders.

    The superintendent or designee will monitor and ensure compliance with the policy.

    The review of this policy is part of the operational plan every three years or as dictated by changes in federal requirements. The triennial assessment of the policy determines compliance, compares to model wellness policies, and identifies progress made in attaining goals.

    This policy is made available to the public by displaying on the school website.

    STAFF WELLNESS

    West Fargo Public Schools plans and implements activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The district addresses staff wellness in its wellness committee and insurance committee activities. The wellness committee develops, promotes, and oversees a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness. The plan is based on input solicited from staff and outlines ways to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle among staff. The insurance committee promotes staff wellness by encouraging and sponsoring staff education programs on health, fitness, and prevention.

    Adopted: 06/12/06
    Reviewed: 09/28/15
    05/30/17
    Revised: 08/22/11
    11/24/15, 05/30/17, 11/07/23