Wellness Policy



The Policy The 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 District’s proposed local wellness policy, making such policy recommendations for the review and the adoption by the Board of Education. The District’s wellness committee includes, but is not limited to, representatives from each of the following groups:

a. Parents
b. Students
c. The District food service program
d. The School Board
e. School administrators
f. 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 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

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:

Nutrition Education The District will provide nutrition education to facilitate the voluntary adoption of healthy eating habits and other nutrition-related behaviors conductive to health and well being adopting the following standards for:

a. Classroom teaching:

1. Is offered at each grade level as part of a sequential, comprehensive, standards-based program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;
2. Is part of not only health education classes, home and careers classes, but also classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences and elective subjects 2 of 8
3. Promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices
4. Emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise).
5. Students are also required to take home and careers in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
6. Follows National Health Standards, NYS Teaching Standards, as well as the NYS Guidance Document for Health Education (See Appendix A, B, C).

b. Education, marketing and promotion links outside of the classroom:

1. Includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens
2. Links with school meal programs, other school foods, and nutrition-related community services
3. Teaches media literacy with an emphasis on food marketing.

c. Fundraising activities:
The district encourages clubs and organizations to participate in fundraising activities that market healthy foods (i.e. fruit sale by band). 
1. Fundraising will be made available to organizations throughout the school year but will be in accordance with section 915 of the New York State Education Law that says:

 “Prohibiting the sale of certain sweetened foods. From the beginning of the school day until the end of the last scheduled meal period, no sweetened soda water, no chewing gum, no candy including hard candy, jellies, gums, marshmallow candies, fondant, licorice, spun candy and candy coated popcorn, and no water ices except those which contain fruit or fruit juices, shall be sold in any public school within the state.”

d. Teacher training:
1. Teacher training that is comprehensive in nature and standards-based will be made available to teachers in grades K – 12.
2. Teachers are trained in the Michigan Model of Health which incorporates nutrition education.
3. In addition the health teachers and others will attend state conferences that offer training on nutrition education

Physical Activity
The District will provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, to maintain physical fitness, to regularly participate in physical activity, and to understand the short-term benefits of a physically active and healthy lifestyle.

a. Physical education graduation requirements:
1. All students must complete two units of Physical Education at the High School level to meet graduation requirements. 3 of 8

b. Physical education class requirements:
1. All students in grades K – 12, including students with disabilities, special health-care needs, and in alternative educational settings, will receive physical education that meets New York State educational requirements for the entire school year. A certified physical education teacher will teach all physical education. Student involvement in other activities involving physical activity (e.g., interscholastic or intramural sports) will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement. Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.
2. Physical Education classes in grades K-12 will meet every other day for 40 minutes. In addition, classroom teachers are required to incorporate physical and movement activity, as directed by the health coordinator, for at least 10 minutes on the days students do not receive physical education.
3. Adapted physical education is made available to all students in grades k-12 when necessary.  Physical Education curriculum will follow NYS Standards as well as use the curriculum guides available through New York State Association for Health Physical Education and Dance.

c. Staff training / certification for physical education:
1. A certified physical education teacher will teach all physical education classes.
2. Physical Education teachers will be given the opportunity to attend professional development each year at the state and local level.
3. All coaches will be certified through the state of NY and will have first aid and CPR certification in accordance with NYS rules and regulations.

d. Physical activity outside physical education classes:
1. Daily Recess. All elementary school students will have an opportunity for dailysupervised recess, of at least 10 minutes, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment under the direction of the Physical Education Staff.
2. Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School. All elementary, middle and high schools will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs. All high schools and middle schools, as appropriate, will offer interscholastic sports programs. Schools will offer a range of activities that meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students, including boys, girls, and students with disabilities and students with special health-care needs.
3. After-school childcare and enrichment programs will provide and encourage-verbally and through the provision of space, equipment and activities – daily periods of moderate to vigorous physical activity for all participants.

Other School-Based Activities
The District wishes to establish a school environment that presents consistent wellness messages and is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity for all. In order to present a coordinated school approach where District decision-making related to nutrition and physical activity encompasses all aspects 4 of 8 of the school, the Wellness Committee has determined that the following standards are necessary to achieve this goal.

A. Federal school meal programs: The District will participate to the maximum extent practicable in available federal school meal programs [School Breakfast Program, Nation School Lunch Program (including after-school snacks), Summer Food Service Program, Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (including suppers)].

B. Access to school nutrition programs:
1. PCS will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. All students at PCS, regardless of free or reduced lunch status, will have the same cards for the school meal program. Specifically identified school personnel will be the only individuals that will have knowledge of a student’s free or reduced meal status and shall keep that information confidential. PCS will make the school meal program available to every student in the district through information provided by the district with regards to free and reducedmeal eligibility.
2. The school district will make every effort to meet dietary requirements for students with dietary needs and students with culturally diverse backgrounds.

C. Meal environment:
1. PCS will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat breakfast and 20 minutes to eat lunch
2. PCS will not schedule tutoring, club, organizational meetings or activities during meal times, unless students may eat during such activities
3. PCS will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks
4. Will be appealing and attractive to children
5. Will be served in a clean and pleasant setting
6. Parents and staff are welcome to join students at lunch at anytime.

D. After-school programs for students:
1. Any district sponsored after school activity will provide the opportunity for healthy snacks and/or physical activity.
2. Food available after school will meet guidelines established under Nutritional Value of Food and Beverages section (b)

E. Community access to District Facilities for physical activities:
1. PCS will provide facility access to students, families, staff and the community for physical activity.
2. The JR/SR High is open in the winter time for community members to utilize the facilities for walking. During the spring and summer months the track is available for community use. 3. The fitness and weight rooms are open at night for the community to use at no cost throughout the school year. 5 of 8

F. Community involvement:
1. PCS encourages community involvement in wellness planning and wellness related activities through various means such as: Newsletters, News N’ Notes, mailings and website. 2. School Wellness Policy is posted on PCS District website.

G. Sustainable food practices:
1. PCS provides recycling opportunities for student organizations in grades K – 12.
2. PCS encourages the use of school gardens and the use of locally grown foods.
3. Rather than using disposable products, the cafeteria uses plates and utensils that can be washed, sanitized and reused on a daily basis.

Nutrition Guidelines

The District Wellness Committee will recommend which nutrition standards will be established for all food available on school campus during the school day based upon the unique needs of the student body and the community. 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.

Nutritional Values of Foods and Beverages
a. Reimbursable school meals served at school will minimally meet the program requirements and nutrition standards of the National School Lunch Program.
b. Food of minimal nutritional value on the school campus will be replaced with more nutritional options by adhering to the following standards for nutritional value of foods and beverages:
1) Calories from total fat – No more than 30% of total calories from fat.
2) Calories from saturated fat – No more than 10% of total calories from saturated fat.
3) Total sugar – No more than 35% by weight (except fresh, dried or canned fruits and vegetables)
4) Whole grain – ensure that one quarter ( ¼ ) of the served grains are whole grains.
5) Portion size –
1. One and one-quarter ( 1 ¼ )ounces for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, trail mix, nuts, seeds, dried fruit or jerky
2. One (1) ounce for cookies
3. Two (2) ounces for cereal bars, granola bars, pastries, muffins, doughnuts, bagels and/or other bakery items 
4. Four (4) fluid ounces for frozen desserts, including, but not limited to, low-fat or fat-free ice cream
5. Eight (8) ounces for non-frozen yogurt
6. Twelve (12) fluid ounces for beverages, excluding water and 
7. The portion size of a la carte entrees and side dishes, including potatoes, will not be greater than the size of comparable portions offered as part of school meals. Fruits and non-fried vegetables are exempt from the portion size limits. 6 of 8

6) Fruits and Vegetables – choice of at least two (2) fruits and non-fried vegetables will be offered for sale at any location where foods are sold on campus. Such items could include, but are not limited to, fresh fruits and vegetables, 100% fruit or vegetable juice, fruit-based drinks that are at least 50% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners, cooked, dried, or canned fruits (canned in fruit juice or light syrup), and cooked dried, or canned vegetables

7) Beverages – Beverages that contain at least 50% fruit juice with no added sweeteners, water, and low-fat / non-fat milk.

c. Nutrition information for products sold on campus will be readily available near the point of purchase.

A la Carte, vending machines, student stores, snack bars, concession stands, parties, celebrations, foodrelated fundraising, and food reward/punishment.

A la Carte and vending machines. Will follow guidelines set forth in the above section B of Nutritional Values of Foods and Beverages.

Student stores, snack bars, concession stands, parties, celebrations, food related fundraising and food reward/punishment. Will be encouraged to follow guidelines set forth in the above section B of Nutritional Values of Foods and Beverages, but will include one healthy food and beverage alternative. Food rewards will be encouraged to be healthy in nature and using food as a punishment will be discouraged.

Food or Beverage contracts. PCS does recommend the utilization of vending company contracts. Food and beverages sold in vending machines will meet guidelines set forth in Section B of Nutritional Values of Foods and Beverages.

Vending machines, snack bars, school stores, concession stands and other food outlets.

Access to vending machines, snack bars, school stores, concession stands and other food outlets on school property will be limited to the following times – after 2:35 PM; and items will meet guidelines set forth in Section B of Nutritional Values of Foods and Beverages.

Guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than applicable federal regulations and guidance issues pursuant to the Child Nutrition Act and the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.

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 and community awareness of this policy through various means such as publication 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 7 of 8 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 evaluation plan for the wellness policy in order to monitor the effectiveness of the policy and the possible need for further modification over time. 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 meets the goals and mandates of its local wellness policy. Designated staff members may include, but are not limited to, the following personnel:
a) Administrators
b) School health personnel including the school nurse and the health and/or physical education teacher
c) School Food Service Director.

These designated staff members shall periodically report to the Superintendent on the District’s compliance with the wellness policy (or, if done at the building level, to the School Principal) and the Superintendent shall inform the Board of such findings. The Superintendent/designee shall prepare a summary report on District-wide compliance with the District’s wellness policy based on input from schools within the District. That report will be provided to the School Board and also distributed to the wellness committee, parent-teacher organization, building Principals, and school health services personnel within the District. The report shall also be available to community residents upon request.

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

Evaluation and feedback from interested parties, including an assessment of student, parent, teacher and administration satisfaction with the wellness policy is essential to the District’s evaluation program. Further, the District shall document the financial impact, if any, to the school food service program, school stores or vending machine revenues based on the implementation of the wellness policy.

District schools will provide nutrition education and physical education with an emphasis on establishing lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services. Communication with and training for teachers, parents, students and food service personnel will be an integral part of the District’s implementation plan.

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. The school will encourage student activity, age appropriate participation 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 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.

Assessment of the District’s wellness policy and implementation efforts may be repeated on an annual basis, but it is recommended that such assessment occur no later than every three years, to help review policy compliance, assess progress and determine areas in need of improvement. The District, and individual schools within the District, will, as necessary, revise the wellness policy and develop work plans to facilitate its implementation.