Wellness Policy

The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being, and the ability to learn by fostering healthy eating and physical activity.

The District has established a wellness committee to develop the Districts proposed local wellness policy, making such policy recommendations for review and adoption by the Board of Education. Parents and community members will learn about opportunities to participate in the wellness committee through the District website. The District Wellness Committee includes, but is not limited to, representatives from each of the following groups:

a) Parents;

b) Students;

e) The District’s food service program;

f) The School Board;

g) School administrators; and

h) Members of the public.

The District Wellness Committee will assess current activities, programs and policies available in the District; identify specific areas of need within the District; develop the policy; and provide mechanisms for implementation, evaluation, revision and updating of the policy.  The Wellness Committee is established to represent the local community’s perspective in developing the wellness policy for the district.

Goals to Promote Student Wellness

The District seeks to ensure all of its students obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to make nutritious food selections and enjoy life-long physical activity. To this end, the District sets forth the following goals relating to nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities.

Taking into account the parameters of the School District (academic programs, annual budget, staffing

issues, and available facilities) as well as the community in which the District is located (the general economy; socioeconomic status; local tax bases; social cultural and religious influences; geography; and legal political and social institutions) the Wellness Committee recommends the following District goals relating to nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities.

Staff are encouraged to model a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life. This approach supports the intent of the HHFKA and the Smart Snacks nutrition standards to ensure the development of healthier school environments.

SUBJECT: WELLNESS (Continued)

Nutrition Promotion and Education

The District will provide nutrition education to facilitate the voluntary adoption of healthy eating habits and other nutrition-related behaviors conducive to health and well-being by establishing the following standards for:

Classroom Teaching:

a.     “My Plate” will be integrated within the comprehensive health education curriculum and other instructional areas, as appropriate, and taught at every grade level.  K through 12 Nutrition instruction will follow applicable New York State Standards and be designed to help students.

1. Nutrition knowledge, including but not limited to:  the benefits of healthy eating; essential nutrients; nutritional deficiencies; principles of healthy weight management; the use and misuse of dietary supplements; and safe food storage, handling, and preparation.

2. Nutrition related skills, including but not limited to:  planning healthy meals; understanding and using food labels; critically evaluating nutrition information, misinformation, and commercial food advertising; assessing personal eating habits; and setting and achieving goals related to these concepts.

b) Education, marketing, and promotion

1. As appropriate, the District will promote nutrition education activities that involve parents, students, and the community.

2. The District will promote school and community awareness of this policy through various means, such as a publication on the District website.  District will encourage and promote wellness through social media, newsletters, and an annual family wellness event.

3. Marketing and advertising on school campuses during the school day will be consistent with nutrition education and health promotion. As such, schools will restrict food and beverage marketing to the promotion of those foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards set forth by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act’s Smart Snacks in School Rule.

4. The District is cognizant of the fact that certain scoreboards, signs, and other durable equipment it employs may market foods and beverages in a way that is inconsistent with the aims of this policy. While the immediate replacement of such equipment may be impossible due to existing contracts or prohibitive costs, the District will consider replacing or updating such equipment over time to ensure the message it delivers to students regarding nutrition, health, and well-being is consistent.

5.      Fundraising activities; and

In section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1996, 42, USC 1779, as amended by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. Prohibits any food related fundraiser that does not meet the nutritional standards from being held during the school day. The school day ends 30 minutes after the regular school day as per defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the RCSTA and the RCSCSD Board of Education.

c) Additional provisions

1. Parents will be encouraged to send in healthy treats for classroom celebrations.

Physical Activity

Recess will be conducted outside to encourage physical activity according to the following temperatures:

Cold Weather * (Based on Accu-weather real feel temperatures)

Above 25 degrees F Regular outdoor activities

16-25 degrees F Sunny days – regular outdoor activities

Overcast days – limited outdoor activity (10-15 minutes)

Sunny days – limited outdoor activity (10-15 minutes)

Overcast days – no outdoor activity

Below 15 degrees F No outdoor activity

*Proper dress is required to take part in activities

Hot Weather (based on heat index temperatures)

Above 95 degrees F No outdoor activity

90-95 degrees F Limited outdoor activity (10-15 minutes)

Below 90 degrees F Regular outdoor activity

Air Quality Index (www.Airnow.gov)

Above 150 No outdoor activity

101-150 Limited outdoor activity (10-15 minutes)

Below 101 Regular outdoor activities

a) The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central School District will provide opportunities for every student to participate in physical education and to be involved in physical activities. In doing so, the District aims to promote among students the development of knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, the maintenance of physical fitness, regular participation in physical activity, and an understanding of the short-term and long-term benefits from a physically active and healthy lifestyle.

b) The District will ensure that the following standards are met to achieve its goals relative to physical education and physical activity:

1. The District will have a Board-approved Physical Education Plan on file with the New York State Education Department that meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in Section 135.4 of the Commissioner of Education’s regulations.

2. The District recognizes the importance of physical education classes in providing students with meaningful opportunities for physical exercise and development. Consequently, the District will ensure:

(a) All physical education classes are taught or supervised by a certified physical education teacher.

(b) All physical education staff receive professional development on a yearly basis.

(c) Interscholastic sports, intramural sports, and recess do not serve as substitutes for a quality physical education program.

(d) Students are afforded the opportunity to participate in moderate to vigorous activity for at least 60% of physical education class.

(e) It provides adequate space and equipment for physical education and conforms to all applicable safety standards.

(f) A sequential physical education course of study consistent with the state and national standards for physical education is implemented, with a focus on students’ development of motor skills, movement forms, and health related fitness.

(g) A physical and social environment is provided that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students, including those who are not athletically gifted.

(h) Activities are adapted to meet the needs of students who are temporarily or permanently unable to participate in the regular program of physical education. In doing so, the District will abide by specific provisions in 504 Plans and/or individualized education programs (IEP).

(i) All students, including students in need of adaptive physical education, will be encouraged to participate in physical fitness programs and competitions.

3. All students will be required to fulfill the physical education requirements set forth in the regulations of the Commissioner of Education as a condition of graduating from the District’s schools.

c) All classroom teachers, and particularly those engaged in the instruction of K through 5 students, are strongly encouraged to incorporate into the school day short breaks for students that include physical activity, especially after long periods of inactivity. Additionally, all elementary students will be offered one daily period of recess. This requirement will not apply on days where students arrive late, leave early, or are otherwise on campus for less than a full day. Where weather and/or facilities allow, recess will be offered in a place that accommodates moderate to vigorous physical activity.

d) Physical activity will not be withheld for disciplinary action unless the student is a danger to him/herself or others. Recess or other physical activity time will not be cancelled for instructional make up time.

Other School-Based Activities

The District wishes to establish a school environment that presets consistent wellness messages and is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity for all. In order to represent a coordinated school approach where District decision-making related to nutrition and physical activity encompasses all aspects of the school, the Wellness Committee has determined that the following standards are necessary to achieve this goal:

a) Federal School Meal Programs;

b) Access to school nutrition programs;

c) Meal environment;

d) After-school programs for students;

e) Community access to District facilities for physical activities;

f) Community involvement; and

g) Sustainable food practices.

b) Access to School Nutrition Programs

The District will utilize a system of student payment that ensures all eligible students have access to free/reduced meals in a non-stigmatizing manner.

c) Meal Environment

The District will ensure:

1. School dining areas have sufficient space for students to sit and consume meals.

2. School dining areas are clean, safe, and pleasant environments that reflect the social value of eating.

3. Enough serving areas are provided to ensure student access to school meals with a minimum of wait time.

4. Students and staff have access to free, safe, and fresh drinking water throughout the school day and where school meals are served.

d) Community Access to District Facilities for Physical Activities

School grounds and facilities will be available to students, staff, community members and organizations, and agencies offering physical activity and nutrition programs consistent with District policy, including provisions regarding conduct on school grounds and administrative approval of use by outside organizations.

e) Community Partnerships

The District will enhance relationships with community partners in support of this wellness policy’s implementation. Existing and new community partnerships will be evaluated to ensure they are consistent with this policy and its goals.

Nutrition Guidelines

The goal is to encourage healthy lifelong eating habits by providing foods that are high in nutrients, low in fat and added sugars, and of moderate portion size.

a) Education purposes;

a. Any food served to students to meet curriculum goals will include only those meeting or surpassing the guidelines in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA)

b) Rewards;

a. Classroom celebrations including, but not limited to, incentives, rewards, birthday or holiday celebrations, are encouraged to focus on Healthy food choices and or physical activities or non-food.

c) State Tests;

a. In grades K-5 during state testing in April, May and June breakfast may be served in the classroom for all students.

d) Classroom Snacks;

a. Parents will be encouraged to send in healthy treats for classroom celebrations.   A Healthy Snack list will be included in take home information for K-5 grades listing acceptable nutritional items that can be sent in with students.

School Meals

School meals will, at a minimum, meet the program requirements and nutrition standards of the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs.

Fundraising

a) All food and beverages sold as a fundraiser during the school day will meet the nutritional requirements listed in the USDA Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act “Smart Snacks in Schools” Rule.

b) School-sponsored fundraisers conducted outside of the school day will be encouraged to support the goals of this policy by promoting the sale of healthy food items (fresh fruit and produce) and/or non-food items, such as water bottles, plants, etc., and by promoting events involving physical activity.

c) School administrators, with the assistance of the District Wellness Committee, will create and promote a list of approved fundraising activities. All fundraisers taking place during the school day must be approved by the appropriate Building Principal prior to their being conducted.

Competitive Foods

a) Competitive foods-which include all foods and beverages sold outside the school meal programs, on the school campus in student accessible areas, and at any time during the school day-will follow, at a minimum, the nutrition standards specified by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. These standards will apply to all foods and beverages sold individually and outside of the reimbursable school meal, including vending machines, school stores and cafeteria a la carte lines.

b) Additionally, the District will not sell foods of minimal nutritional value, as defined in the HHFKA, in the student store, from a machine, or anywhere in the building from the beginning of the school day until the end of the last lunch period. Prohibited foods include: soda water, water ices (excluding ices containing fruit or fruit juices), chewing gum, hard candy, jellies, gums, marshmallow candies, licorice, fondants (soft mints, candy corn), cotton candy and candy coated popcorn.

Assurances

To further increase participation in the Food Service Program for breakfast and lunch to ensure all students are prepared or learning, the school nurse shall discuss the Food Service Program with all new student enrollees.

Implementation and Evaluation of the Wellness Policy

In accordance with law, the District’s wellness policy must be established by July 1, 2006; and the District will ensure school is aware of this policy through Superintendent Days and faculty meetings. The community awareness of this policy through various means such as publication on the website, student/parent handbooks, and in District newsletters and/or the District calendar. Further, professional development activities for staff and student awareness training will be provided, as appropriate, on the goals of the District’s wellness program, including activities/programs for the development of healthy eating habits and the incorporation of physical activity as part of a comprehensive healthy lifestyle.

The District shall establish an implementation and yearly evaluation plan for the wellness policy in order to monitor the effectiveness of the policy and the possible need for further modification over time through tools such as the WellSAT and/or School Health Index. Accordingly, the Superintendent shall designate one or more staff members within the District or at each school as appropriate to have operational responsibility for ensuring that the District or at each school as appropriate to have operational responsibility for ensuring that the District meets the goals and the mandates of its local wellness policy. The designated staff member will use the Healthy Schools NY check off list. Designated staff members may include, but are not limited to, the following personnel: To this end, the District designates the following individuals to have operational responsibility for ensuring that the District meets the goals and mandates of this policy.

a) Administrators;

b) School health personnel including the school nurse and the health and/or physical education teacher; and

c) School Food Service Director.

d) Wellness Committee

These designated school officials will also serve as liaison with community agencies in providing outside resources to help in the development of nutrition education program and physical activities.

To the extent practicable, students and parents shall be involved in the development of strategies designed to promote healthy food choices in the school environment; and the school cafeteria will provide a variety of nutritionally sound meal and beverage choices as defined in the HHFKA. The school will encourage students’ active, age appropriate participate in decisions regarding healthy lifestyles and choices. Positive reinforcement such as letters of recognition and acknowledgement will be utilized as a means to encourage healthy eating patterns among the student population. In addition, the school will share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students; such information may be made available on menus, a website, or such other “point-of-Purchase” materials.

c) The District will annually report on the progress each of its schools has made toward meeting the goals of this policy. Such report will include:

1. The website address for the wellness policy and/or information on how the public can access a copy;

2. A description of each school’s progress in meeting the wellness policy goals;

3. A summary of each school’s local school wellness events or activities;

4. Contact information for the leader(s) of the Wellness Committee; and

5. Information on how individuals can get involved in the Wellness Committee’s work.

Such report will be provided to the Board of Education and also distributed to the Wellness Committee, parent-teacher organizations, Building Principals, and school health services personnel within the District. The report will be available to community residents upon request.

d) Evaluation and feedback from interested parties, including an assessment of student, parent, teacher, and administration satisfaction with the wellness policy, are welcomed as an essential part of the District’s evaluation program.

e) The District will document the financial impact, if any, to the school food service program, school stores, and vending machine revenues based on the implementation of the wellness policy.

f) Assessments of the District’s wellness policy and implementation efforts will be repeated on a triennial basis. The assessment will include:

1. Compliance with the wellness policy;

2. How the wellness policy compares to model wellness policies; and

3. Progress made in attaining the goals of the wellness policy.

g) The District will, as necessary, revise this wellness policy and develop work plans to facilitate its implementation.

42 USC Section 1758b

7 CFR Section 210.11

79 FR 10693

Education Law Section 915

8 NYCRR Section 135.4

Committee Reviewed – 7/21/2015

First Reading – 7/28/2015

Second Reading – 8-25-2015, Approved