TEAM Charter Schools Wellness Policy
MISSION The purpose of TEAM’s School Wellness Plan is to address school health issues using a coordinated approach in order to improve student health and wellness. The six goals of the policy are: Nutrition Education, Nutrition Guidelines, Other School-Based Activities to Promote Student Wellness, Physical Education/Activities, Communication, and Measurement.
A Wellness Council will be assembled and may be an independent council with members from the School Board, administration, teaching community, and school nutrition program, or a representative incorporated into an existing school council or committee.
As required by law, the TEAM’s School Wellness Policy includes:
- Goals for nutrition education, physical education and activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness
- Nutrition guidelines for all foods available during the school day with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity
- Guidelines for reimbursable school meals
- A plan for fostering community involvement, including parents, students, the school board, school administrators, and the public in the development of the school wellness policy
- A plan for measuring implementation of the wellness policy
GOAL AREAS FOR SCHOOL LEVEL WELLNESS PLANS I. Nutrition Education II. Nutrition Guidelines for Foods Available During the School Day III. Other School-Based Activities to Promote Student and Staff Wellness IV. Physical Education and Physical Activity V. Communication Engaging Parents, School Board/Administrative Staff and the Community VI. Measurement Tool/Program Assessment
The implementation should comply with the goals of the wellness policy and include one or more standard for each goal.
I: NUTRITION EDUCATION Goal/Objective: To provide nutrition education experiences that support the instructional component to improve students’ eating behaviors and help develop healthy lifestyle practices. To encourage and support nutritious eating by students and adults.
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TEAM will collaborate with community groups to conduct nutrition education activities such as health fairs, career days, health/nutrition professional presentations, etc. Presentations may be conducted by members of one or more of the following groups:
- School wellness committee representative
- PTO and other parent volunteer’s organizations
- Local health departments
- Non-profit health and community organizations
Before and After-School Program - After-school programs should provide an ideal setting for providing nutrition and physical activity opportunities. The promotions manual and nutrition education lessons can be used as part of the after-school program curriculum.
Cafeteria-Based Nutrition Education - The school cafeteria provides an ideal setting for students to practice healthy eating. Coordinating school nutrition programs with classroom lessons allows students to apply critical thinking skills taught in the classroom. Options for cafeteria-based nutrition education include:
- Nutrition Department visit classrooms and explain how the school nutrition program ensures that meals served meet U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition standards and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Invite classes to visit the cafeteria for a tour and demonstration of processes
- Offer foods that reinforce classroom lessons, such as whole wheat rolls to reinforce a lesson on dietary fiber
- Display nutrition posters in the cafeteria and distribute nutrition information
- Invite School Nutrition Department staff to conduct training sessions, presentations and/or information about the School Nutrition Program for staff and parents
II: NUTRITION GUIDELINES FOR FOODS AVAILABLE DURING THE SCHOOL DAY Goal/Objective: To provide students with a variety of affordable nutritious meals and snacks. To plan and provide food items during the School Day School meals and after-school snacks that adhere to federal and state regulations and guidance as issued by the Secretary of Agriculture under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and California Board of Education.
School Meals - Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs:
- Will be appealing and attractive to children
- Will be served in clean and pleasant settings
- Will meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by state and federal statutes and regulations
- Will offer a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Will serve low-fat (1%) and/or fat-free milk and nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives (to be defined by USDA)
- Will ensure that all of the served grains are whole grain
Breakfast - To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn:
- Schools will, to the extent possible, operate the School Breakfast Program.
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- Schools that serve breakfast to students will notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program.
- The school should set limits on time Breakfast is served.
Free and Reduced-priced Meals - Schools 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. Toward this end, schools may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income if possible; promote the availability of school meals to all students.
Summer Food Service Program - Schools in which more than 50% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals may sponsor the Summer Food Service Program for at least six weeks between the last day of the academic school year and the first day of the following school year, and preferably throughout the entire summer vacation.
Meal Times and Scheduling –
- Schedule will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch
- Meal periods should be scheduled at appropriate meal times
- Tutoring, club, or organizational meetings or activities should not be scheduled during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities
- Students will be provided access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snack
Qualifications of School Food Service Staff - Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the school meal programs. As part of the school district's responsibility to operate a food service program, we will provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals in schools. Staff development programs should include appropriate certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, school nutrition managers, and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.
Sharing of Foods and Beverages - Schools should discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children's diets.
Lunches from home - Parents should be encouraged to provide nutritionally based sack lunches for students following the guidelines of allowable foods listed below.
Allowed: water or seltzer water without added caloric sweeteners; fruit and vegetable juices and fruit- based drinks that contain at least 50% fruit juice and that do not contain additional caloric sweeteners; unflavored or flavored low-fat or fat-free fluid milk and nutritionally-equivalent nondairy beverages (to be defined by USDA). Food items should be healthy and nutritional and may include fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, salads, etc.
Not allowed: soft drinks containing caloric sweeteners; sports drinks; iced teas; fruit-based drinks that contain less than 50% real fruit juice or that contain additional caloric sweeteners; beverages containing caffeine, excluding low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk (which contain trivial amounts of caffeine). Food items such as potato chips, corn chips, candy, fast food items should not be included in lunches provided from home.
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Snacks - Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children's diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage. Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of school meals, children's nutritional needs, children's ages, and other considerations.
If eligible, schools that provide snacks through after-school programs will pursue receiving reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program.
Foods and Beverages Sold Individually (i.e., foods sold outside of reimbursable school meals, fundraisers, school stores, etc.) - The school food service program will approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students in elementary schools. Given young children's limited nutrition skills, food in elementary schools should be sold as balanced meals. If available, foods and beverages sold individually should be limited to low-fat and non-fat milk, fruits, and non-fried vegetables.
Rewards - Schools will not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually (above), as rewards for academic performance or good behavior,10 and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.
Celebrations - Schools should limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month. Parents should be encouraged to provide healthy food and drink items for parties. Soft drinks, sports drinks, iced tea, coffee items, or fruit based drinks with less than 50% real juice, potato chips, corn chips, and candy should be discouraged.
School-sponsored Events - Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day should be healthy. Soft drinks, sports drinks, iced tea, coffee items, or fruit based drinks with less than 50% real juice, potato chips, corn chips, and candy should be discouraged.
III: OTHER SCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE STUDENT AND STAFF WELLNESS Goal/Objective: Encourage student and staff members to improve their health and wellness through promotions and programs and promote a clean, healthy, safe environment conducive to maximizing instructional focus.
Examples of promotions/programs:
- Introduce wellness programs to staff members
- Health screenings
- Physical activity and fitness
- Nutrition education
- Weight management
- Tobacco Prevention programs
- Influenza vaccinations
- Stress management in-services/activities
- Present health and wellness information at regular staff meetings
- Place health information into newsletter articles, brochures and e-mail messages through the new Wellness Committee communication forums
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Examples of steps to ensure a healthy, clean, and safe environment are provided to promote a positive effect on students and the staff:
- Environmental Services and Nutrition Services will insure that school meals are served in a clean setting.
- Dining areas will be attractive and have sufficient space for seating.
- School staff will provide appropriate supervision in school cafeteria areas and serve as role models to students
- Schools will provide safe, and clean restrooms
- Hand-washing equipment, soap, and supplies will be placed in convenient places so that student and staff can wash their hands before eating and other appropriate times
- Students will have the opportunity to wash hands or have access to hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks and at other appropriate times
- Drinking fountains will be available for students to get water throughout the day
- School classrooms will be kept clean and neat
- Key school staff will be trained in CPR
IV: PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Goal/Objective: To provide students with opportunities for a quality physical education and daily physical activity in order to foster an understanding of the short and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
- Daily physical activity will be available for students in grades K-5.
- Physical activity is neither used as punishment nor withheld as a punishment
- To provide and encourage physical activities which include community and family
Examples of activities for this component:
- School pedometer activities
- PTO/parent activity nights
- School sponsored fun runs
- Charity and foundation fun runs and walks
- School-sponsored physical activity events used as fund raisers
V: COMMUNITY ENGAGING PARENTS, SCHOOL BOARD/ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF AND THE COMMUNITY Goal/Objective: To promote clear and consistent messages that explains and reinforces healthy eating and physical activity habits. Messages will be directed to students, staff, parents, and the community. Examples of ways to promote messages in school communications such as parent/staff newsletters, website, Facebook, outdoor signs, etc. that exemplifies:
- Healthy foods taste good and are good for you
- Fitness is fun
- Healthier students are smarter students
- Our school provides healthy foods for our students and staff
- Our school promotes healthy lifestyles
- Healthier lifestyles enable school employees to be happier and more productive
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Engage parents through activities that promote healthier lifestyles Examples of how to engage parents through activities to promote healthier lifestyles:
- Walk Your Child to School days
- PTO/parent activity nights
- School, charity and foundation fun runs, walks, fund raisers
- Establish partnerships with community organizations and make outreach to groups that support the school’s wellness goals
VI: MEASUREMENT TOOL/PROGRAM ASSESSMENT Goal/Objective: To measure implementation of the local district nutrition and physical activity policies, including the designation of one or more persons with operational responsibility for ensuring that schools are addressing the policy. The Nutrition Department will establish a plan for monitoring the school TEAM’s School Wellness Plan using a Program Evaluation tool to include an Evaluation Checklist.
The Nutrition Department will complete an evaluation at the end of each trimester during the school year to ensure ongoing compliance with the TEAM Charter School Wellness Policy.
The Nutrition Department is responsible for collecting and reporting the data to document the school level implementation of the Wellness Policy.