RWPCS will improve the environmental sustainability of our school; increase the use of locally grown, locally processed, and unprocessed foods from growers engaged in sustainable agriculture practices; and increase physical activity and health education for staff and students.
Whereas, children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive;
Whereas, good health fosters student attendance and education;
Whereas, obesity rates have doubled 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, 33% of high school students do not participate in sufficient vigorous physical activity and 72% of high school students do not attend daily physical education classes;
Whereas, only 2% of children (2 to 19 years) eat a healthy diet consistent with the five main recommendations from the Food Guide Pyramid;
Whereas, nationally, the items most commonly sold from school vending machines, school stores, and snack bars include low-nutrition foods and beverages, such as soda, sports drinks, imitation fruit juices, chips, candy, cookies, and snack cakes;
Whereas, school districts around the country are facing significant fiscal and scheduling constraints; and
Whereas, community participation is essential to the development and implementation of successful school wellness policies;
Thus, the Richard Wright Public Charter School District is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects student health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.
Therefore, it is the policy and goal of the Richard Wright Public Charter School:
TO ACHIEVE THESE GOALS:
I . School Health Councils
Richard Wright Public Charter School will create, strengthen, or work within existing school health councils and organizations to develop, implement, monitor, review, and, as necessary, revise school nutrition and physical activity policies. The councils also will serve as resources to school sites for implementing those policies. (A school health council consists of a group of individuals representing the school and community, and will include parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, members of the school board, school administrators, teachers, health
professionals, and members of the public.)
II . Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Sold and Served on Campus
Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
Richard Wright Public Charter School will engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods sold through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices. In addition, Richard Wright Public Charter School will share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students. Such information will be made available on menus, a website, on cafeteria menu
boards, placards, or other point-of-purchase materials.
Breakfast. To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:
Free and Reduced-priced Meals. Richard Wright Public Charter School will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals5. Toward this end, schools may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income; promote the availability of school meals to all students; and/or use nontraditional methods for serving school meals, such as"grab-and-go" or classroom breakfast.
Summer Food Service Program. Richard Wright Public Charter School will provide Summer Food Service Program for at least six weeks between the last day of the academic school year and the first day of the following school
Meal Times and Scheduling. Schools:
Qualifications of School Food Service Staff. Qualified Nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs. As part of Richard Wright Public Charter School’s responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all nnutrition professionals in schools. Staff development programs will include appropriate
certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, school nutrition managers, and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.
Sharing of Foods and Beverages. Richard Wright Public Charter school will discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children's diets.
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, such as through vending machines, cafeteria a la carte [snack] lines, fundraisers, school stores, etc.)
Middle/Junior High and High Schools. In middle/junior high and high schools, all foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable school meal programs (including those sold through a la carte [snack] lines, vending machines, student stores, or fundraising activities) during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day,
will meet the following nutrition and portion size standards:
Fundraising Activities. To support children's health and school nutrition-education efforts, school fundraising activities will not involve food or will use only foods that meet the above nutrition and portion size standards for foods and beverages sold individually. Schools will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity. The school
district will make available a list of ideas for acceptable fundraising activities.
Snacks. Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children's diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children's nutritional needs, children's ages, and other considerations. The district will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel, and parents.
If eligible, schools that provide snacks through after-school programs will pursue receiving reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program.
Rewards. Schools will not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above), as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.
Celebrations. Richard Wright Public Charter will limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. Each party will include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above). The district will disseminate a list of healthy party
ideas to parents and teachers.
School-sponsored Events. (such as, but not limited to, athletic events, dances, or performances). Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day will meet the nnutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually (above).
Richard Wright Public Charter School shall not permit third parties to sell foods or beverages of any type to students on school property from 90 minutes before the school day begins until90 minutes after the school day ends.
III. Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion and Food Marketing
Nutrition Education and Promotion. Richard Wright Public Charter School aims to teach, encourage, and support healthy eating by students, as well as, provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition
Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting. Richard Wright Public Charter School students will have a semester of Health Education and a semester of Physical Education for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Toward that end:
Communications with Parents.Richard Wright Public Charter School will support parents' efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The district/school will offer healthy eating seminars for parents, send home nutrition information, post nutrition tips on school websites, and provide nutrient analyses of school menus. Richard Wright Public Charter School will encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the above nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages. Richard Wright Public Charter School will provide parents a list of foods that meet the district's snack standards and ideas for healthy celebrations/parties, rewards, and fundraising activities. In addition, Richard Wright Public Charter School will
provide opportunities for parents to share their healthy food practices with others in the school community.
Richard Wright Public Charter School will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities before, during, and after the school day; and support parents' efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school. Such supports will include sharing information about
physical activity and physical education through a website, newsletter, or other take-home materials, special events, or physical education homework.
Food Marketing in Schools. School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, schools will limit food and beverage marketing to the promotion of foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually (above).School-based marketing of brands promoting predominantly low-nutrition foods and beverages is prohibited. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.
Examples of marketing techniques include the following: logos and brand names on/in vending machines, books or curricula, textbook covers, school supplies, scoreboards, school structures, and sports equipment; educational incentive programs that provide food as a reward; programs that provide schools with supplies when families buy low-nutrition food products; in-school television, such as Channel One; free samples or coupons; and food sales through fundraising activities. Marketing activities that promote healthful behaviors (and are therefore allowable) include: vending machine covers promoting water; pricing structures that promote healthy options in a la carte lines or vending machines; sales of fruit for fundraisers; and coupons for discount gym memberships.
Staff Wellness. Richard Wright Public Charter School highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Richard Wright Public Charter School will maintain a staff wellness committee composed of at least one staff member, school health council member, local hospital representative, dietitian or other health professional, recreation program representative, union representative, and employee benefits specialist. (The staff wellness committee will be a
subcommittee of the school health council.) The committee will develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness.The plan will be based on input solicited from school staff and will outline
ways to encourage healthy eating, physical activity, and other elements of a healthy lifestyle among school staff. The staff wellness committee will distribute its plan to the school health council annually.
IV. Physical Activity Opportunities and Physical Education
Daily Physical Education (P.E.) 8-12. All students in grades 8-12, including students with disabilities, special health-care needs, and in alternative educational settings, will receive physical education an average of at least fifteen minutes per week of health education for the entire school year. All physical education will be taught by a certified physical education teacher. Student involvement in other activities involving physical activity (e.g., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement. Students will spend at least 50 percent of
physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Testing/Extended Classes.Richard Wright Public School will discourage extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity. When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary forstudents to remain indoors for long periods of time, give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.
Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School. Richard Wright Public Charter School will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs. Richard Wright Public Charter School as appropriate, will offer interscholastic sports programs. Richard Wright Public Charter School will offer a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students, including boys, girls, students with disabilities, and students with special health-care needs.
After-school enrichment programs will provide and encourage – verbally and through the provision of space, equipment, and activities – daily periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.
Physical Activity and Punishment. Teachers and other school and community personnel will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.
Safe Routes to School. Richard Wright Public Charter School 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. When appropriate, Richard Wright Public Charter School will work together with local public works, public safety, and/or police departments in those efforts. Richard Wright Public Charter School will explore the availability of federal "safe routes to school" funds, administered by the state department of transportation, to finance such improvements. Richard Wright Public Charter
Schoolwill encourage students to use public transportation when available and appropriate for travel to school, and will work with the local transit agency to provide transit passes for students.
Use of School Facilities Outside of School Hours. School spaces and facilities will be available to students, staff, and community members before, during, and after the school day, on weekends, and during school vacations. These spaces and facilities will also be available to community agencies and organizations offering physical activity and nutrition programs. School policies concerning safety will apply at all times.
V. Monitoring and Policy Review
Monitoring. The Director of Business Operations or designee will ensure compliance with established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. The Head of School or designee will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school's compliance to the local, state and federal entities.
School food service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the superintendent (or if done at the school level, to the school principal). In addition, the school district will report on the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes.
If Richard Wright Public Charter School has not received a SMI review from the state agency within the past five years, a request will be sent to the state agency that a SMI review be scheduled as soon as possible.
The Director of Business Operations will develop a summary report every three years on compliance with the established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. That report will be provided to the Board of Trustees, state/local and federal entities, and also distributed to all school health councils, parent/teacher organizations, school principals, and school health services personnel.
Policy Review. To help with the initial development of Richard Wright Public Charter School’s wellness policies, we will conduct a baseline assessment of the school's existing nutrition and physical activity environments and policies to identify and prioritize needs.Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, Richard Wright Public Charter School will review our nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements. Richard Wright Public Charter School will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.