701.06 – Wellness Policy
The Colfax-Mingo School Board encourages healthy students and staff by supporting wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment. The school district supports a healthy environment where students learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices. By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, schools contribute to the basic health status of students. Improved health optimizes student performance potential.
The Colfax-Mingo school district provides a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors. The entire school environment, not just the classroom, will be a reflection of the school district’s goals to positively influence a student’s understanding, beliefs, and habits as they relate to good nutrition and regular physical activity.
The school district supports and promotes proper dietary habits contributing to students’ health status and academic performance. All foods available on school grounds and at school-sponsored activities during the instructional day should meet or exceed the school district nutrition standards whenever possible. Foods should be served with consideration toward nutritional integrity, variety, appeal, taste, safety, and packaging to ensure high-quality meals.
The school district 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 meals. Toward this end, the district may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; promote the availability of meals to all students; and/or use nontraditional methods for serving meals, such as “grab-and-go” or classroom breakfast. The school district will develop a wellness policy with the input of the school nurse, Nutrition Director, health/physical education teachers, and administrators. The school nurse will monitor and evaluate the implementation of the policy and will report annually to the superintendent regarding the effectiveness of the policy.
The school district will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
- Is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based curriculum to be taught by selected teachers (science, health, exploratory, and physical education) and the school nurse.
- Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices (such as lowering sugar content in recipes and eliminating trans fats and hydrogenated fats when possible).
The Colfax-Mingo School District recognizes the importance of physical activity during the school day and provides opportunities for physical activity through Physical Education and daily recess (as well as through optional extra-curricular programs).
Daily Physical Education
The Colfax-Mingo school district will provide education that:
- Is delivered for the entire school year to all students in grades k-12, including students with disabilities, and students with special healthcare needs.
- Engages students in moderate to vigorous activity during at least 50 percent of physical education.
Elementary and middle schools should provide a daily recess for students that:
- Is preferably outdoors; equipment; and,
- Verbally encourages moderate to vigorous physical activity and provides space and,
- Discourages extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity.
Physical Activity and Punishment
Employees should be aware that it is poor practice to use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or to withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.
Other School-Based Activities that Promote Wellness
Integrating Physical Activity into Classroom Settings
For students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond the physical education class. Toward that end, the school district will:
- Address the importance of physical activity in the standards-based district wellness curriculum
- Offer classroom health education that complements physical education by reinforcing the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a physically active lifestyle and to reduce time spent on sedentary activities;
- Discourage sedentary activities, such as watching television, playing computer games, etc;
- Provide opportunities for physical activity to be incorporated into other subjects lessons; and,
- Remind classroom teachers to provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.
Optional Issues – Communication with Parents
The school district will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children. The school district will:
- Send home wellness information and share wellness tips;
- Encourage parents to pack healthy lunches and snacks and to refrain from including beverages and foods that do not meet the established nutrition standards for individual foods and beverages.
Food Marketing in Schools
School-based marketing will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. The school district will:
- Attempt to 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;
- Promote healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and healthy fats;
- Market products that promote healthful behaviors, such as marketing 100% juice, waters, and flavored waters; and, pricing structures that promote healthy options in a la carte lines or vending machines.
- Establish and maintain a staff wellness plan with input from health professionals, school nurse, and other district staff members;
- Base plan on input from employees and professionals (health insurance providers), and provide opportunities for implementation of healthy changes.
Nutritional Guidelines for all Foods Available on Campus
Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
- Be attractive and appealing to children;
- Be served in clean and pleasant settings;
- Meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal law; specifically guidelines set by Healthy Hunger, Free Kids Act of 2010, and Smart Snacks in School.
- Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
- Serve only low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk when possible.
- Share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students;
- Engage students and parents, through such activities as taste-tests of new entrées or surveys, in order to identify new, healthful and appealing food choices.
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, schools will:
- Operate the breakfast program, to the extent possible;
- Notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program, where available; and,
- Encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials, or other means.
Free and Reduced-Priced Meals
The school district 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 meals. Toward this end, the school district may:
- Utilize electronic identification and payment systems;
- Ensure that students without the financial means are provided meals;
- Promote the availability of meals to all students.
Meal Times and Scheduling
The school district:
- Will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
- Should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; should not schedule tutoring, club or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
- Will consider scheduling lunch periods to follow recess periods (in elementary schools) when deemed beneficial;
- Will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and,
- Should take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
Qualification of Food Service Staff
The School Nurse and the Nutrition Director will administer the meal programs. As part of the school district’s responsibility to operate a food service program, the school district will:
- Provide professional development and training for child nutrition directors, nutrition managers, and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.
Sharing of Foods
The school district discourages 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 Sold Outside the Meal (e.g. vending, a la carte, sales)
Elementary schools: The food service program will approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students in elementary schools whenever possible. To this end:
- Food in elementary schools should be sold as balanced meals, given young children’s limited nutrition skills; and,
- Foods and beverages sold individually should be limited to healthy choices when possible.
Secondary Schools: In middle/junior high and high schools, all foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable meal programs (including those sold through a la carte 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 to the highest degree possible:
- Allowed: water or seltzer water minimal added caloric sweeteners; fruit and vegetable juices and fruit-based drinks that contain 100% percent fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free or fat- free milk and nutritionally equivalent non-dairy beverages (as defined by the USDA).
- Discouraged: carbonated beverages, especially those with high caffeine content; fruit-based drinks that contain less than 100% percent real fruit juice or that contain additional caloric sweeteners.
A food item sold individually:
- Will be evaluated and chosen for desirable fat, sugar, and sodium content
- When possible will include a choice of at least two fruits and /or non-fried vegetables for sale at any location on the school site where foods are sold. Examples: Food items could include, but are not limited to, fresh fruits and vegetables; 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice; cooked, dried, or canned fruits (canned in fruit juice or light syrup); and cooked, dried, or canned vegetables (that meet the above fat and sodium guidelines).
To support children’s health and school nutrition-education efforts, the school district will attempt to use foods that meet the above nutrition and portion size standards for foods and beverages sold individually. The school district encourages fundraising activities that promote physical activity.
Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs are most desirable when they make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health and are timed so that they don’t detract from meals. Snacks will follow Smart Snacks in School guidelines.
The school district discourages the use of foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages as a punishment.
Schools should evaluate their celebrations practices that involve food during the school day. The school district will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.
Offerings of food and beverages at school-sponsored events outside the school day will include foods that meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually whenever possible.
All foods made available on campus adhere to food safety and security guidelines.
- All foods made available on campus comply with the state and local food safety and sanitation regulations. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans and guidelines are implemented to prevent food illness in schools.
- For the safety and security of the food and facility, access to the foodservice operations is limited.
Plan for Measuring Implementation
The superintendent will ensure compliance with established school district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.
In each school:
- The school nurse will ensure compliance with those policies in the school and will report on the school’s compliance to the superintendent;
- Foodservice staff, at the school or school district level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within food service areas and will report on this matter to the school nurse.
In the school district:
- The Nutrition Director will report yearly on the most recent USDA and the state of Iowa initiatives so that compliance can occur;
- At the end of every school year (late May, early June) the school nurse will develop a summary report on compliance with the wellness policy. The school nurse will distribute copies to the superintendent, building principals, curriculum coordinator, and foodservice supervisor;
- The superintendent will provide the school Board with the yearly summary report.
Date of Adoption: May 15, 2006
Reviewed & Revised: January 10, 2010; November 21, 2016