The link between nutrition, physical activity and learning is well documented. Healthy eating and activity patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. Healthy eating and physical activity, essentially for healthy weight, are also linked to reduced risk for chronic diseases. Schools share in the responsibility to help students learn, establish and maintain lifelong, healthy eating and activity patterns. Well-planned and effectively implemented school nutrition and fitness programs have been shown to enhance students’ overall health, as well as their behavior and academic achievement in school. Staff wellness also is an integral part of a healthy school environment since staff can be daily role models for healthy behavior.
All students at St. Gabriel Consolidated school shall possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make nutritional food choices and enjoyable physical activity choices for a lifetime. All staff are encouraged to model healthful eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.
The Student Wellness Program shall:
- establish nutrition standards for all foods available on school campus during the day
- provide assurances that district guidelines for reimbursable school meals are, at a minimum, equal to the guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and
- establish a plan of implementation and evaluation, including designating one (1) or two (2) persons within the District with the responsibility for ensuring that the District is compliant with Federal law
- include setting goals for nutrition education, physical activities and goals for other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness
Nutrition Education Goals
- Instructors of health and nutrition education receive training to represent the latest updates in nutrition education and dietary guidelines.
- Instructors of health and nutrition education receive training in methods in diversified instructional methods to teach nutrition education that are age appropriate.
- National health standards and district guidelines are included in nutrition, health and physical education classes.
- Students receive consistent nutrition messages throughout the school, classroom and school cafeteria.
- Students and staff shall have the opportunity to practice behaviors that enhance health and/or reduce health risks during the school day.
- Nutrition education may be provided in the form of (but not exclusive to) handouts, postings on the district website, or presentations that focus on the updated nutritional guidelines.
Physical Activity Goals
- Students should be given opportunities for physical activity during the school day through daily recess periods and physical education classes.
- Students should be given opportunities for physical activity through a range of after-school programs.
- Physical education classes should be taught by a certified specialist. Physical activity shall be an essential element of the school’s instructional program. The program shall provide the opportunity for all students to develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to participate in a lifetime of healthful physical activity.
- Students shall be supported in setting and meeting personal fitness goals that result in the achievement and maintenance of a health-enhancing level of physical fitness.
- Students shall be provided varied opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and social interaction that will lead to a physically active lifestyle.
- Physical education includes the instruction of individual activities as well as competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage life-long physical activity.
- Adequate equipment is available for all students to participate in physical education. Physical activity facilities on school grounds will be safe.
- The school shall provide a physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students, including those who are not athletically gifted.
- Physical education courses will be the environment where students learn, practice and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills and knowledge.
- Physical education classes shall have a student/teacher ratio similar to other classes.
- Time allotted for physical activity will be consistent with research, national and state standards.
Goals for School-Based Activities to Promote Student Wellness
- The school will provide adequate space and a clean, safe lunchroom environment. Lunchrooms will be cleaned on a daily basis, between lunches and during lunches.
- The school will provide adequate time for students to enjoy socialization and eating healthy foods.
- The school will encourage the use of non-food items as rewards for student achievement.
- The school will ensure that all fundraising efforts are supportive of healthy eating and any snacks sold will meet guidelines for the Smart Snacks Program in accordance with the National School Lunch Program.
- The school will provide opportunities for professional training for food service staff and teachers in the areas of nutrition and physical education.
- The school will provide student access to physical activity areas outside school hours.
- The school will develop strategies to encourage physical activity and a healthy lifestyle for parents, students and staff.
- Wellness policy goals will be considered when planning all school-based activities.
- Lunch period should be scheduled as near the middle of the school day as possible.
- Sufficient school staff members will be available to properly supervise the students in the cafeteria during lunch.
- Ensure that students are provided the opportunity to wash their hands before eating to get rid of parasites to prevent the spread of germs and reduce illness.
Nutrition Standards for all Foods on School Campus
- St. Gabriel Consolidated School participates in the National School Lunch Program. Free or reduced-cost meals are made available to students whose families meet certain income criteria. Forms are available at each school and at the Board Office.
- Schools will make every effort to prevent the overt identification of students eligible who participate in the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program.
- Menus are planned to meet the nutritional guidelines established under the National School Lunch Program by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- The Food Service Department will continue to provide a variety of choices that conform to good meal planning principles and meet the Child Nutrition meal pattern.
- Healthy choices will be offered on the ala carte lines. Students will be urged by the staff to purchase a lunch.
- Food Service staff will monitor ala carte items monthly for nutritional information.
- Parental restrictions can be posted on students’ lunch accounts.
- Fresh fruit and/or vegetables, including salads, will be offered daily, depending on availability.
- Whole grain products will be offered when possible.
- Nutritional information for products offered in the serving line is available from the Food Service Department upon request.
- One percent (1%) and skim milk will be available. Staff will encourage students to take milk with their lunch.
- Staff will encourage parents and students to pack healthy lunches.
- Parents who choose to eat lunch with their student are encouraged to eat a school lunch.
- Fast food items shall not be permitted during lunchtime.
- Classroom snacks/parties should reinforce the importance of healthy foods and any snacks sold will meet guidelines for the Smart Snacks Program in accordance with the National School Lunch Program.
- St. Gabriel Consolidated School employs a Food Service Supervisor who is properly qualified, according to Board policy and current professional standards, to administer the Food Service Program and satisfy all the reporting requirements.
- Managers will be certified in the Safe Service HACCP programs. Food safety training will be provided for all food service employees. An employee in-service will be required once a year for all employees.
- For the safety and security of the food and facility, any organization requiring the use of the kitchen or its equipment for any purpose, shall be required to have a qualified school food service employee present.