Wellness Policy

Student Nutrition and Physical Activity (Student Wellness Policy)

The Board of Education of the Newtown Public Schools strives to promote healthy schools by supporting wellness, good nutrition and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment. The District strives to provide a healthy environment where children learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices. The District will facilitate learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity in order to contribute to the basic health status of children. Improved health optimizes student performance potential and ensures that no child is left behind.  

A.      The District will support and promote proper dietary habits contributing to   students’ health status and academic performance.  Healthy eating is demonstrably linked to reduced risk for mortality and development of many chronic diseases as adults. To promote the health and well being of all students, it is the policy of the Board of Education to:

1.  Ensure that all children have access to adequate and healthy food choices on scheduled school days at reasonable prices.   

2.  Encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle for students by supporting the implementation of nutritionally adequate, educationally sound and financially accountable school food and nutrition programs.                                                                                                         

3.  Coordinate school food service with this policy to reinforce messages about healthy eating and to insure that foods offered promote good nutrition and contribute to the development of lifelong, healthy eating habits.                                                                    

4.  Involve family members and the community in supporting and reinforcing nutrition education and the promotion of healthy eating and lifestyles.  

5.    Support and promote proper dietary habits contributing to students' health status and academic performance. Foods available on school grounds and at school-sponsored activities during the instructional day should meet or exceed the District Nutrition Standards. The District operates under the National School Lunch program regulations at all schools, National School Breakfast regulations at the High School, and the Special Milk program regulations for kindergartners.  The full meal program will follow the U.S. Government’s Nutrition Standards. Beverages available for sale during school hours will be restricted to comply with state law and will be defined in the regulations.  

6.  Emphasis should be placed on foods that are nutrient dense per calorie. Foods should be served with consideration toward variety, appeal, taste, safety and packaging to ensure high quality meals.

B.  Provide a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors. The entire school environment, not just the classroom, shall be aligned with healthy school goals to positively influence a student's understanding, beliefs and habits as they relate to good nutrition and regular physical activity. A healthy school environment should not be dependent on revenue from high-fat, low nutrient foods to support school programs.

1.      The District shall provide physical activity and physical education opportunities, aligned with the Connecticut Physical Education Framework, that provide students with the knowledge and skills to lead a physically active lifestyle.                                                    

a.  Physical education classes and physical activity opportunities will be available for all students.                                                                                                                           

b.  Physical activity opportunities shall he offered before school, during school (recess) or after school.  Students in grades k through 5 shall have daily opportunities for physical exercise.                                                                                                                          

c.  School leaders of physical activity and physical education shall guide students through a process that will enable them to achieve and maintain a high level of personal fitness through the following:

·        Expose youngsters to a wide variety of physical activities

·        Teach physical skills to help maintain a lifetime of health and fitness

·        Individualize intensity of activities

·        Focus feedback on process of doing your best rather than on product

·        Be active role models

·        Introduce developmentally appropriate components of a health-related fitness assessment to the students at an early age in order to track progress

2.      Include in the District’s health education curriculum state and local curriculum standards that include both nutrition and physical education. Educators, administrators, parents, health practitioners and communities must all acknowledge the critical role student health plays in academic stamina and performance and adapt the school environment to ensure students' basic nourishment and activity needs are met.

3.      Provide school staff involved in nutrition education and in supporting a healthy school environment, with adequate pre-service and ongoing in-service training that focuses on strategies for behavioral change.

a.       Ensure that students in grades pre-K – 12 receive nutrition education that is interactive and teaches the skills students need to adopt healthy eating behaviors.

b.      Offer nutrition education in the District’s cafeterias as well as in the classroom, with coordination between the food service staff and teachers.

c.       Provide consistent nutrition messages to students throughout the school, classroom, cafeteria, home, community and media.

d.      Involve parents, students and the community in nutrition education standards.

C.  Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of this policy in promoting healthy eating and change the program as appropriate to increase its effectiveness.

1.      Child Wellness Advisory Committee

a.       District-wide wellness committee shall be established for the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the District’s wellness policy and its nutrition and physical activity components; evaluating policy progress, serving as a resource to school sites and for recommending revisions of the policy, through the Superintendent or his/her designee, as determined necessary.  The committee shall meet a minimum of two times yearly.

b.      The members of the Committee shall include, but need not be limited to, board members, school administrators, food service directors, food service staff, other staff, parents/guardians, students, physical and health education teachers, dieticians, health care professionals and interested community members.

c.       In developing such policies on nutrition and physical activity, the committee shall hold at least one public meeting and shall ensure that the policies address the issues contained in applicable state and federal statutes.

d.      At the District level, the Board designates the Assistant Superintendent with the operational responsibility for ensuring that each school meets the requirements of the district wellness policy. In addition, the Principal of each school, or his/her designee, shall be responsible for the implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of this wellness policy. The policy shall be continually reviewed, at least biannually, to determine if it is meeting current needs and is workable in promoting healthy eating and physical activity.

e.       At the school level the implementation of the wellness policy will be evaluated as described below.

         i.      Board policy and the accompanying administrative regulation are implemented as written; 

ii.      Teachers deliver nutrition education through age-appropriate, culturally relevant, participatory activities that include social learning strategies and activities;

iii.      Teachers and school nutrition and food services personnel have undertaken joint project planning and action;

iv.      Teachers have received curriculum-specific training; and                                         

v.      Families and community organizations are involved, to the extent practicable, in nutrition education.

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes

10-16b Prescribed courses of study.

10-215 Lunches, breakfasts and the feeding programs for public school children and employees.

10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules, policies and procedures.

10-215a Non-public school participation in feeding program.

10-215b Duties of state board of education re: feeding programs.

10-216 Payment of expenses.

10-215b-1 State board of education regulation. Competitive foods

PA 04-224 An Act Concerning Childhood Nutrition in Schools, Recess, and Lunch Breaks

National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program; Competitive Foods. (7 CFR Parts 210 and 220, Federal Register, Vol. 45, No. 20, Tuesday, January 29, 1980, pp. 6758-6772)

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, Public Law 108-265

Policy adopted: June 6, 2006