NEPN/NSBA Code: JL
Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition
The health of children is of the utmost importance to the future of our society. Healthy eating and daily physical activity can improve academic performance, attendance, mood, alertness and behavior issues. MSAD 60 is committed to providing a school environment that supports student wellness, healthy food choices, nutrition education, and regular physical activity. MSAD 60 believes that students who learn and practice healthy lifestyles in their formative years may be more likely to be conscious of the importance of good nutrition and exercise as adults, practice healthy habits, and reduce their risk of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases.
MSAD 60 will ensure that meals provided by its Food Services Program meet the nutrition standards established by federal regulations. Nutrition information for meals will be made available to students and families. Participation in school meal programs will be promoted. Parents will be notified of the availability of breakfast, lunch and summer food programs and encouraged to determine eligibility for reduced or free meals. Schools will use nontraditional breakfast service to increase participation, such as breakfast served in the classroom.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Professional Standards for State and local Nutrition Programs are followed to ensure that professional development in the area of food and nutrition is provided for food service directors, managers and staff.
Administrators are encouraged to use the following best practices concerning the scheduling of school meals:
Provide students with at least 20 minutes to eat after sitting down for lunch.
Schedule meal periods at appropriate times (e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 10:30 and 1 p.m.).
Do not schedule tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities.
Have a closed campus policy. Do not provide permission for students to leave for the purpose of obtaining lunch.
Free drinking water is available during mealtimes.
Schedule lunch periods to follow recess (in elementary schools).
Provide access to students for hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks.
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Foods served as part of the Before and Aftercare (childcare) programs run by the school must meet USDA Smart Snack standards. Foods served as part of the Before and Aftercare (childcare programs) run by an outside organization (e.g., YMCA) should also meet the district’s nutrition standards for competitive foods.
Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages
All foods and beverages sold on school grounds to students outside of reimbursable school meals are considered “competitive foods.” Competitive foods include items sold a la carte in the cafeteria, from vending machines, school stores and for in-school fundraisers. All competitive foods must comply with the USDA Smart Snacks in Schools Standards as well as all applicable state and federal standards.
The Smart Snacks nutrition standards do not apply to the culinary education programs’ curriculum, nor do they have any impacts on foods sold to adults at any time or to students outside of the school day. However, if the culinary education program sells food to students on campus during the school day, it must comply with the Smart Snacks nutrition standards.
This policy serves as assurance that MSAD 60 guidelines for reimbursable meals are not less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act.
Nutrition education topics will be integrated within the K-12 comprehensive health education curriculum. Nutrition education will be aligned with the content standards of Maine’s system of Learning Results and federal learning objectives. Nutrition Education should focus on skills students need to adopt and maintain healthy eating behaviors. Students shall receive consistent nutrition messages throughout the schools, including classrooms, cafeteria, and home-school communication.
MSAD 60 will offer k-12 physical education opportunities that include the components of a quality physical education program. Physical education shall equip students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for lifelong physical activity. Physical education instruction shall be taught by qualified teachers and aligned with the national and state physical education standards.
Time allotted for k- high school physical education will be consistent with the state laws.
Adaptive physical education is offered in order to meet the needs of all students.
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Health and Physical Education curriculum will be analyzed according to the District curriculum review schedule to determine if it is meeting the needs of students and following current recommended practice within the state.
MSAD 60 will strive to provide all students developmentally appropriate opportunities for physical activity through physical education classes, recess periods for elementary and middle school students, physical activity breaks and extracurricular activities (clubs, intramural and interscholastic athletics). School programs are intended to build and maintain physical fitness and to promote healthy lifestyles. The schools should encourage parents to support their children’s participation in physical activities, including available before- and after-school programs.
Wellness Promotion and Marketing
Students can learn healthy lifestyle habits by observing food and physical activity patterns of school personnel and other adults who serve as role models. In order to send consistent messages to students, all adults in the school environment are encouraged to make healthy food choices and engage in physical activity. The district shall work through the District Wellness Team to find no and low cost ways to support and promote student and staff wellness.
Schools will support healthful eating by students and encourage parents/guardians to provide healthy meals for their children by providing consistent nutrition messages and information and by cooperation with other agencies and organizations.
Staff may conduct healthy school parties. All foods and beverages served as part of classroom activities or celebrations should meet USDA Smart Snack Standards. Notices shall be sent to parents/guardians either separately or as part of a school newsletter, reminding them of the necessity of providing healthy treats for students and/or encouraging the use of non-food treats for classroom birthday or award celebrations.
School-based marketing of foods and beverages, such as through advertisements in school publications, school buildings, athletic fields, and other areas accessible to students shall support the goals of the wellness policy.
Student organizations will be encouraged to engage in fundraising projects that are supportive of healthy eating and student wellness. If food items are sold they should meet the MSAD 60 nutrition standards.
In order to reinforce nutrition education and establish healthy attitudes toward eating, staff are discouraged from using food as reward or incentive for academic performance or good behavior and food will not be withheld for punishment. If foods are used as reward they should meet the USDA Smart Snack Standards.
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MSAD 60 discourages the use of physical activity (i.e. running laps, push-ups or withholding recess and physical education) as punishment.
The district shall have the opportunity for all K-12 students of to participate in extracurricular physical activity through intramural and interscholastic sports programs that meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students.
All elementary school students will have at least 20 minutes each day for supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which school personnel should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Implementation, Evaluation and Communication
The Superintendent/designee shall be responsible for oversight of implementation of this policy, for monitoring efforts in schools to meet the intent of this policy and achieve wellness goals, and for reporting to the Board on an annual basis.
Monitoring may include surveys or solicitation of input from students, parents, staff, and school administrators. Reports may include but are not limited to:
The status of the school environment in regard to student wellness issues
Evaluation of the school food services program and compliance with nutrition guidelines
Summary of wellness programs and activities in the schools
Feedback from students, parents, staff, school administrators and wellness committee, including suggestions for improvement in specific areas
Recommendations for policy and/or program revisions
MSAD 60 will use the district website, or other means as appropriate, to publicly disseminate information about school wellness activities, results of wellness program evaluations/monitoring, and wellness policy implementation efforts.
Appointment and Role of the Wellness Committee
The Board shall appoint a district-wide Wellness Committee that represents all school levels and is comprised of at least one of each of the following:
A. Board member;
B. School administrator;
C. Food Services Director/designee;
D. Student representative;
E. Parent representative; and/or
F. Community representative.
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The team may also include representatives from the following areas:
counseling/psychological/and social services
parent, student and community organizations
The Wellness Committee shall meet at least 2 times per year and serve as an advisory committee in regard to student wellness issues and will be responsible for making recommendations related to the wellness policy, wellness goals, administrative or school regulations and practices, or raising awareness of student health issues.
With the prior approval of the Superintendent/designee, the Wellness Committee may survey parents, students and the community and/or conduct focus groups or community forums.
The Wellness Committee shall provide periodic reports to the Superintendent/ designee and, as requested, to the Board.
Adopted: June 22, 2006
Amended: September 24, 2009
Revised: May 15, 2014
Revised: July 24,2017