As required by law, the Board of Education establishes the following wellness policy for the Van Wert City School District as a part of a comprehensive wellness initiative.
The Board recognizes that good nutrition and regular physical activity affect the health and well-being of the District's students. Furthermore, research suggests that there is a positive correlation between a student's health and well-being and his/her ability to learn. Moreover, schools can play an important role in the developmental process by which students establish their health and nutrition habits by providing nutritious meals and snacks through the schools' meal programs, by supporting the development of good eating habits, and by promoting increased physical activity both in and out of school.
Schools alone, however, cannot develop in students healthy behaviors and habits with regard to eating and exercise. It will be necessary for not only the staff, but also parents and the public at large to be involved in a community-wide effort to promote, support, and model such healthy behaviors and habits.
The Board sets the following goals in an effort to enable students to establish good health and nutrition habits:
A. With regard to nutrition education, the District shall:
1. Nutrition education shall be included in the Health curriculum so that instruction is sequential and standards-based and provides students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to lead healthy lives.
2. Nutrition education shall include opportunities for appropriate student projects related to nutrition, involving, when possible, community agencies and organizations.
3. Nutrition education posters, such as the Food Pyramid Guide, will be displayed in the cafeteria.
B. With regard to physical activity, the District shall:
1. A sequential, comprehensive physical education program shall be provided for students in K-12 in accordance with the physical education academic content standards and benchmarks adopted by the State.
2. The physical education curriculum shall provide sequential instruction related to the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to participate in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
3. Physical education classes shall provide students with opportunities to learn, practice, and be assessed on developmentally appropriate knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to engage in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
4. The sequential, comprehensive physical education curriculum shall stress the importance of remaining physically active for life.
5. Planned instruction in physical education shall teach cooperation, fair play, and responsible participation.
6. Planned instruction in physical education shall be presented in an environment free of embarrassment, humiliation, shaming, taunting, bullying, or harassment of any kind.
7. Planned instruction in physical education shall include cooperative as well as competitive games.
C. With regard to other school-based activities the District shall:
1. The school shall provide attractive, clean environments in which the students eat.
2. Students, parents, and other community members shall have access to, and be encouraged to use, the school's outdoor physical activity facilities outside the normal school day.
3. An organized wellness program shall be available to all staff.
4. The schools may provide opportunities for staff, parents, and other community members to model healthy eating habits by dining with students in the school dining areas.
5. Schools in our system utilize electronic identification and payment systems, therefore, eliminating any stigma or identification of students eligible to receive free and/or reduced meals.
D. With regard to nutrition promotion, any foods and beverages marketed or promoted to students on the school campus, during the school day, will meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
Additionally, the District shall encourage students to increase their consumption of healthful foods during the school day.
Furthermore, with the objectives of enhancing student health and well-being, and reducing childhood obesity, the following guidelines are established:
A. In accordance with Policy 8500, entitled Food Service, the food service program shall comply with Federal and State regulations pertaining to the selection, preparation, consumption, and disposal of food and beverages, including but not limited to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, as well as to the fiscal management of the program.
B. As set forth in Policy 8531, entitled Free and Reduced Price Meals, the guidelines for reimbursable school meals are not less restrictive than the guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The sale of foods of minimal nutritional value in the food service area during the lunch period is prohibited.
C. The sale of foods and beverages to students that do not meet the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards to be consumed on the school campus during the school day is prohibited.
D. All food items and beverages available for sale to students for consumption on the school campus (any area of property under the jurisdiction of the school that is accessible to students during the school day) between midnight and thirty (30) minutes after the close of the regular school day shall comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, including, but not limited to, competitive foods that are available to students a la carte or as entrees in the dining area (except entree items that were offered on the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) menu on the day of and the day after they are offered on the NSLP or SBP menu), as well as food items and beverages from vending machines, from school stores, or as fund-raisers, including those operated by student clubs and organizations, parent groups, or boosters clubs.
E. All foods offered on the school campus during the school day shall comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including competitive foods that are available to students a la carte in the dining area, as classroom snacks, or from vending machines.
F. All food and beverages that are provided, other than through sale, on the school campus during the school day (which may include for classroom parties and at holiday celebrations) shall comply with the food and beverage standards approved by the Principal.
G. The food service program will provide all students affordable access to the varied and nutritious foods they need to be healthy and to learn well.
H. Continuing professional development shall be provided for all staff of the food service program.
The Board designates the building principals as the individuals charged with operational responsibility for measuring and evaluating the District's implementation and progress under this policy. The Superintendent shall develop administrative guidelines necessary to implement this policy.
The Superintendent shall appoint a District-wide Wellness Committee that includes parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, educational staff (including health and physical education teachers), mental health and social services staff, school health professionals, members of the public, and school administrators to oversee development, implementation, evaluation and periodic update of this policy. The Wellness Committee shall be an ad hoc committee with members recruited and appointed annually.
The Wellness Committee shall be responsible for:
A. assessment of the current school environment;
B. review of the District’s Wellness policy;
C. presentation of the Wellness policy to the Board for approval;
D. measurement of the implementation of the policy; and
E. recommendation for the revision of the policy, is necessary.
Before the end of each school year, the Wellness Committee shall recommend to the Superintendent any revisions to the policy it deems necessary and/or appropriate. In its review, the Wellness Committee shall consider evidence-based strategies in determining its recommendations.
The Superintendent shall report annually to the Board on the Wellness Committee’s progress and on its evaluation of the policy’s implementation and areas for improvement, including status of compliance by individual schools and progress made in attaining the policy’s goals.
The Superintendent is also responsible for informing the public, including parents, students and community members, on the content and implementation of this policy. In order to inform the public, the Superintendent shall post the policy on the District’s website, including the Wellness Committee’s assessment of the policy’s implementation.
The District shall assess the Wellness Policy at least once every three years on the extent to which schools in the District are in compliance with the District policy, the extent to which the District policy compares to model wellness policies, and the progress made in attaining the goals of the District Wellness Policy. The assessment shall be made available to the public on the School District's web site.