Policy #1.4.6-Wellness

SCHOOL WELLNESS                                                                                   1.4.6

 

The Millis Public Schools (MPS) Wellness Policy is consistent with Federal and State laws and regulations that promote curriculum and programs for nutrition standards, nutrition promotion and education; physical activity and physical education; and other school-based wellness activities.

 

School Wellness Advisory Committee (SWAC)

MPS maintains a standing School Wellness Advisory Committee (SWAC) in accordance with Federal and State regulations to encourage a program that actively promotes wellness in schools and to maximize MPS' opportunities for grant awards, The role of the SWAC is to recommend, review, and help promote school district policies addressing issues that affect students' physical, social, and emotional health and well-being. Specific goals are addressed in an annual action plan that is monitored, implemented, assessed and shared with the School Committee.

 

The Superintendent appoints the MPS Director of Nutrition Services, and Staff from Health Services and Wellness to lead SWAC and to serve as liaisons between SWAC and the Superintendent and to ensure the active functioning of SWAC. The annual SWAC membership includes (but is not limited to) a school nurse, nutrition services personnel, physical education teacher, guidance counselor, school physician, administrator, School Committee member, parent, student, Millis Health Department personnel, a local health care provider, other community agency personnel and partners serving Millis's youth. Members of the SWAC to the maximum extent possible shall reflect the cultural, linguistic and ethnic composition of the Millis community.

 

The SWAC on an annual basis shall recommend and/or review district-wide policies to promote student wellness, such as those addressing health education and services, school nutrition, the nutrition environment, physical education, and opportunities for physical activity around the school environment, Such policies shall include:

  • goals and objectives for the coming year, which shall be observable and measurable;
  • a process for evaluating the progress to be made in the coming year in reaching the annual goals and objectives, which may include the use by the school district of a self-assessment tool; and
  • any recommendations concerning the establishment or functioning of school building-based wellness teams and school building-based initiatives.

 

Annual policies are established with input from the school community, student and public health data, and information about current school district programs and practices.

 

SWAC on an annual basis will provide to the Superintendent and the School Committee a copy of the policies developed, including goals and objectives, A report should include:

  • an action plan which details ways in which SWAC may work with the school district and school personnel, including school nurses, to achieve the annual goals and objectives on a school district and/or school building level;
  • ways that MPS and/or SWAC might best monitor and evaluate progress toward reaching the annual goals and objectives;
  • ways of developing community support for school wellness initiatives and coordinating school and community initiatives on physical activity and nutrition;
  • an assessment of the accomplishments of the previous year and identification of work still needed to accomplish the previous year's goals and objectives;
  • a review of membership and membership participation in the previous year and, as appropriate, a request to the Superintendent for replacements.
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SWAC meets at least four times a year, and evaluates the achievements of wellness goals, objectives, and implementation of the action plan. Specifically, the SWAC examines the extent to which schools are in compliance with local wellness policies, the extent to which the MPS wellness policy compares to model policies, and the progress made in attaining the goals of the local wellness policy. A progress report is/will be prepared after each meeting for the Superintendent evaluating the implementation of the policy and regulations and include recommended changes or revisions. All meeting dates and times will be posted on the school district's website and meetings will be open to the public.

MPS shares the information from these progress reports and the content and implementation of the local wellness policies in a variety of locations. Information is posted on MPS' website, and in notices to parents and students.

 

MPS will retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the wellness policy at MPS Administrative Offices. MPS will provide copies of SWAC reports, minutes and attendance sheets to the Department of Public Health or Department of Elementary and Secondary Education upon request.

 

Nutrition Standards

MPS is committed to serving healthy meals to children, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk; moderate in sodium, low in saturated fat, and zero grams trans fat per serving (nutrition label or manufacturer's specification); and to meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. The school meal programs aim to improve the diet and health of school children, help mitigate childhood obesity, model healthy eating to support the development of lifelong healthy eating patterns, and support healthy choices while accommodating cultural food preferences and special dietary needs.

 

MPS complies with 105 CMR 225.000: the Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages in Public Schools, and national standards per the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010, The School Nutrition Standards apply to the primary sources of competitive foods and beverages, including all foods and beverages sold as a la carte items in cafeteria, school stores, school snack bars, and vending machines, The time frame to which the nutrition standards apply is the period from the midnight before, until 30 minutes after the end of the official school day, except the nutritional standards shall apply at all times to competitive foods or beverages sold on school grounds through vending machines.

 

All schools within MPS are committed to offering school meals that:

  • Are accessible to all students;
  • Are appealing and attractive to children;
  • Are served in clean and pleasant settings;
  • Meet or exceed current nutrition requirements established by local, state, and Federal statutes and regulations;
  • Promote healthy food and beverage choices using at least ten of the following Smarter Lunchroom techniques:
  • Whole fruit options are displayed in attractive bowls or baskets (instead of chaffing dishes or hotel pans);
  • Sliced or cut fruit is available daily;
  • Daily fruit options are displayed in a location in the line of sight and reach of student;
  • All available vegetable options have been given creative or descriptive names;
  • Daily vegetable options are bundled into all grab and go meals available to students;
  • All staff members, especially those serving, have been trained to politely prompt students to select and consume the daily vegetable options with their meal;
  • White milk is placed in front of other beverages in all coolers;
  • Alternative entree options (e.g. salad bar, yogurt parfaits, etc.) are highlighted on posters or signs within all service and dining areas;
  • A reimbursable meal can be created in any service area available to students (e.g. salad bars, snack rooms, etc.);
  • Student surveys and taste testing opportunities are used to inform menu development, dining space decor, and promotional ideas;
  • Student artwork is displayed in the service and/or dining areas; and
  • Daily announcements are used to promote and market menu options.

 

The Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Schools do not apply to foods and beverages in curriculum related classroom-based activities, special school-sponsored events, field trips, and fundraising activities, including bake sales. These exempted items may not be sold in competition with school meals in the food service area during the meal service.

 

The sales of competitive foods and beverages are not used as a reward or incentive, except as documented in a child's Individual Education Plan or 504. It is encouraged that foods and beverages sold or provided during activities held beyond the school day offer options which meet the nutrition standards.

 

The Director of Nutrition Services provides the oversight, direction, and management of the National School Lunch Program in MPS that meets or exceeds the required guidelines and nutrition standards of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2010, and the HHFKA of 2010. MPS must document compliance with the nutrition standards for all competitive food available for sale to students in areas under its jurisdiction that are outside of the control of the school food authority responsible for the service of reimbursable school meals. MPS is also responsible for ensuring that organizations designated as responsible for food service maintain records to ensure and document compliance with the nutrition requirements for the foods and beverages sold to students at these venues during the school day. At a minimum, records must include receipts, approved and denied applications for free and reduced price lunch, nutrition labels, menus, and/or product specifications, and records for the food safety program.

 

Water

To promote hydration, free, safe, unflavored drinking water will be available to all students throughout the school day and throughout every school campus. MPS will make drinking water available where school meals are served during mealtimes. In addition, students will be allowed to bring and carry (approved) water bottles filled with only water with them throughout the day.

 

School Lunches

MPS will not be less restrictive than the regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act (42 U.S.C. 1779) and section 9(f)(1) and 17(a) of the Richard B Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1758(f)(1), 1766(a) in reimbursing school lunches.

 

MPS must offer lunches between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. MPS will offer a minimum of 20 minutes for lunch and a minimum of 10 minutes for breakfast, after sitting down.

 

MPS must make substitutions in lunches and afterschool snacks for students who are considered to have a disability and whose disability restricts their diet. Substitutions must be made on a case by case basis only when supported by a written statement of the need for substitution(s) that includes recommended alternate foods. Such statement must be signed by a licensed physician.

 

Physical Activity

MPS embraces a comprehensive school physical activity program that encompasses physical activity programming before, during, and after the school day. In addition to their regularly scheduled physical education classes, MPS encourages opportunities for all students to have activity breaks, daily recess periods at the elementary school level, and the integration of physical activity into the academic curriculum where appropriate. Administering or withholding physical activity as a form of punishment and/or behavior management is discouraged.

 

Physical Education

The goals and implementation of a K-12 sequential physical education curriculum align with Massachusetts General Laws and the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. The physical education program is offered to all students, including those with disabling conditions, chronic health conditions, and special needs. Participation in the physical education program is in compliance with the requirements of Massachusetts General Law.

 

MPS will ensure that physical education is taught by qualified educators who are certified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to teach physical education. In addition, as part of a quality physical education program, all physical education teachers will be expected to participate regularly in professional development activities.

 

Health Education

MPS provides a health education program designed to help students make good decisions and practice healthy behaviors. The health education program is aligned to the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Education Frameworks.

 

Nutrition Promotion and Education

Nutrition education and promotion are designed to achieve standards of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework. Where appropriate, nutrition concepts are integrated into the curriculum and also offered via nutrition promotion as part of the school lunch program.

 

Other School-Based Initiatives to Promote Wellness

School-based wellness initiatives may address other health, safety, social, and emotional issues, including but not limited to, risky behaviors, substance abuse, tobacco prevention, bullying prevention and stress reduction. Collaboration with families and community is encouraged to support children's nutrition, lifelong physical activity, and healthy lifestyle.

 

School Lunch and School Breakfast Program Staff

 

MPS maintains Federal minimum hiring standards, required education, training, and certification as established by the USDA at 7 C.F.R. ¤ 210.30 for school nutrition professionals who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

 

The standards include training requirements for current and new school nutrition program employees, in addition to the hiring standards for new employees. For the 2015-2016 school year all directors must have 8 hours of annual continuing education/training and all managers must have 6 hours. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, all directors must have at least 12 hours of annual continuing education/training and managers must have 10 hours. These hours are in addition to the food safety training required in the first year of employment. All other staff must have 4 hours of annual continuing education/training in the 2015-2016 school year and 6 hours beginning in the 2016-2017 school year. Part-time staff must have 4 hours of annual continuing education/training, regardless of the number of hours worked.

 

Legal References:

Federal

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010

The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1751-1769h

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2010

 

State

MA Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework, 1999

School Nutrition Law, Chapter 111 Section 223;

MGL Public Schools-Physical Education, Chapter 71, Section 3

Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 105 CMR 215.000 Standards for School Wellness Advisory Committee 2011;105 CMR 225.000

Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages in Public Schools, 2011

 

First reading: waived

Second reading: 1/5/16

Third reading: 1/19/16

Adopted: 1/19/16


 

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