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Wellness Policy

The Lynn Public Schools recognize that good nutrition and physical activity are essential for students to maximize their full academic, physical and mental potentials, and achieve lifelong health and well-being. A progressive and sequential approach to nutrition and physical activity promotes healthy weight maintenance and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases including hypertension, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and asthma.

Lynn Public Schools have a responsibility to provide a school environment that helps students learn and maintain lifelong healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Many factors play a role in achieving a healthy school environment including the availability of healthy foods and beverages at school and positive modeling by adults, as well as opportunities to learn about healthy lifestyles through physical activity and nutrition education which follow the Massachusetts Health Curriculum Frameworks to promote student wellness.

The LPS Wellness Policy Committee is responsible for establishing and measuring the implementation of the Wellness Policy. Committee members work collaboratively and offer multiple perspectives to assure the Wellness Policy is consistent with LPS educational and budgetary goals, is designed to optimize the health and well-being of students, and fulfills the requirements of Section 204 of The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265).

1.0 Wellness Policy Committee
1.1 Mission

The LPS maintains a Wellness Policy Committee that serves the following purposes:

Establish standards for all foods and beverages available to students on each school campus during the entire school day

Establish goals for student nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness

Provide oversight and serve as a resource to school sites for the Wellness Policy implementation

Establish a plan for monitoring, measuring, review and evaluating the Wellness Policy standards and implementation.

Recommend all policy-related standards for final approval and report findings of policy implementation evaluation annually to the School Committee.

1.2 Membership
The Wellness Policy Committee membership includes at a minimum:
A school board member
A representative from administrative leadership
A representative of the Coordinated School Health Program
A representative of school food services
A School Nurse
A Student representative
A Parent representative
A Representative of the local community

The Wellness Policy Committee chairperson has the primary responsibility for coordinating committee activities related to standards establishment, policy implementation and monitoring, and reporting to the School Committee.

The Wellness Policy will be distributed to all employees at the beginning of each school year. It can be viewed on the LPS website, on the local CAT and in future informational resource materials.

2.0 Nutrition Guidelines
2.1. School Meals Program

The school meals program will operate in accordance with the National School Lunch Program standards and applicable laws and regulations of Massachusetts. (Code of Federal Regulations 7 Parts 210-299) Schools will offer varied and nutritious food choices that are consistent with the federal government's current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Students will be encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast.

Parents and caregivers will be given educational resources and will be encouraged to support a healthy school environment by providing a variety of nutritious foods if meals or snacks are sent from the home.

2.2 Competitive Foods
Each school will have the capability to access nutritional information for parents and guardians for a la carte snacks and beverages offered in snack bars, meal service lines, vending machines and school stores.

Beverages and foods sold in the Lynn Public schools during the school day must adhere to the following standards: All a la carte snacks and beverages offered for sale to students must comply with USDA regulations prohibiting the sale of "foods of minimal nutritional value." (Federal Register 7 CFR Part 210.11)

Only the John Stalker Institute "A-List" of food items by manufacturer and product will be "acceptable" food items for student's consumption. This list will be updated regularly and become part of the district policy.

Vending machines will not be available to students between 7AM and 2:30PM. Timers will be set on all machines. This will be strictly enforced. Upon expiration of existing vending contracts, the Wellness Committee will reconvene to propose additional guidelines.

2.3 Eating as a Positive Experience
Schools will work towards providing adequate time to eat, at least 10 minutes for breakfast and 15 minutes for lunch from the time the student is seated.

Whenever possible, lunch will be scheduled near the middle of the school day.

Lunch recess for elementary grades will be scheduled before eating when feasible.

Schools will work towards improving serving space. Efficient methods of service will be used to ensure student have access to school meals with a minimum amount of waiting time.

Seating will be available to accommodate all students served during each meal period.

Supervision will be provided in the dining area

The dining area will be clean and orderly.

2.4 Food Safety
In accordance with Section 111 of the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265), the district will implement a food safety program for the preparation and service of school meals based upon the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

All food service equipment and facilities will meet applicable local and state standards for safe food preparation and handling, sanitation, and workplace safety.

Access to hand washing or hand sanitizing will be available before meals.

Cafeteria and classroom modifications will be made for students with food allergies according to the LPS Allergy Guidelines.

3.0 Nutrition Education
The LPS Wellness Policy committee will work with the Director of Coordinated School Health Programs to assess all nutrition education curricula and materials for consistency with the LPS educational and wellness policy goals and the Massachusetts Health Curriculum Frameworks

3.1 Student Nutrition Education
Students will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of classroom nutrition education learning experiences that meet the Massachusetts Health Curriculum Frameworks.

3.2 Staff Nutrition Education
Staff will be encouraged to be positive role models and be committed to help improve school nutrition.

The staff responsible for nutrition education will be adequately prepared and participate regularly in professional development activities to effectively deliver an accurate nutrition education program.

Preparation and professional development activities will provide basic knowledge of nutrition, skill practice in program-specific activities and instructional techniques, and strategies designed to promote healthy eating habits.

3.3 Parent Nutrition Education
The nutrition education program will engage families as partners in their children's education.

Nutrition education may be provided to parents in the form of handouts, website postings, school or district newsletters, and nutrition presentations.

3.4 Cafeteria
The school cafeteria will: a) support school nutrition education by posting attractive and current nutrition education materials in dining areas b) serve as a venue for nutrition education offered by teachers and community nutrition educators.

4.0 Physical Activity/Education
4.1 Physical Education

Physical Education shall be taught as a required subject in grades K-10 and offered to grades 11-12 in the public schools for the purpose of promoting the physical well-being of students.

Physical education classes should be taught by state certified teachers in an environment where students learn, practice and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills and knowledge in accordance with the MA Health Curriculum Frameworks.

Physical education will include the instruction of individual activities, fitness, team activities and dance to encourage life-long physical activity.

4.2 Physical Activity during the School Day
Students will be given opportunities for physical activity during the school day through daily recess periods, physical education (P.E.) classes, walking programs, and the integration of physical activity into the academic curriculum.

Schools will promote an environment supportive of physical activity through at least 15 minutes a day of recess for students in grades K-5.

Each elementary physical education teacher will teach a recreational unit that provides students with skills and knowledge to organize activities at recess.

Schools will encourage periodic breaks in which students are encouraged to stand, stretch and be active.

Students should not have time periods of more than 2 hours of inactivity.

4.3 Physical Activity Before and After School
Students will be given opportunities for physical activity through a range of after-school programs including intramural and physical activity clubs by SY 2008-2009.

Interscholastic programs will be offered at the high school and middle school level.

After school tutoring/mentoring programs should also encourage physical activity. (standing/stretching)

4.4 Creating a Positive Environment for Physical Activity
Teachers and staff will not use physical activity (e.g. running laps, pushups) as a form of punishment. Opportunities for physical activity (e.g. recess, physical education) will not be withheld as a form of discipline. This guideline does not apply to extracurricular sports teams, clubs or intramural activities.

It is recommended that recess time not be cancelled for instructional make-up time.

All schools in the district will provide a physical and social environment that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students, including those who are not athletically inclined. Schools should ensure that students are accepting of individual differences.

Information will be provided to families to help them incorporate physical activity into their children's lives.

5.0 Other School Based Activities to Promote Student Wellness during the School Day
5.1 Food Sold for Fundraising Activities/ School Stores

Only the John Stalker Institute "A-List" of food items by manufacturer and product will be "acceptable" food items for student's consumption. This list will be updated regularly and become part of the district policy.

Traditional baked sales will not be encouraged during the school day. These sales take students "off task"
Food safety issues
Violates competitive food law
Pressure on low income families
Bake sales may be offered after school has ended.

The district will encourage non-food items to be sold as part of school-sponsored fundraising activities.

5.2 Healthy Classroom Parties and Celebrations
School staff and parents are encouraged to include healthy food offerings at school parties and events to support a healthy environment throughout the district. Suggestions include fruits and vegetables, low fat foods, whole grains and foods on the John Stalker Institute "A-List".

5.3 Food Used as a Reward or Punishment
School staff will not use food as a reward or punishment for students.

Exceptions to this rule are only made if written into students IEP or 504 plan.

6.0 District Teacher, Staff and Food Service Staff Role in a Healthy School Environment
6.1 Staff Wellness

Food service staff and faculty will work together as full partners in the district's wellness goals. In support of this goal, nutrition and physical activity educational opportunities will be provided to all staff. These opportunities will address diverse topics related to healthy lifestyles, nutrition and physical activity. Educational and informational materials, presentations and/or workshops will be provided.

Teacher and staff are encouraged to model healthy eating and physical activity behaviors.

7.0 Policy Implementation
7.1 Monitoring

Each School Improvement Council will facilitate implementation and ensure compliance with the standards of the Wellness Policy. Each school principal will appoint one individual to monitor their individual school health and wellness environment. This person will report on compliance with the policy to the chairperson of the Wellness Policy.

The Wellness Committee will aid the School Improvement Council in each school to incorporate the changes into their school improvement plan.

The Director of Food Services will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within the school food service areas and will report on this matter to the chairperson of the Wellness Policy committee.

7.2 Reporting
The chairperson of the Wellness Policy committee will report on the district's compliance with the Wellness Policy to the School Committee.

7.3 Policy Review /Evaluation
The Wellness Policy committee conducted a baseline assessment of the schools' existing nutrition and physical activity environments. The results of the school-by-school assessments were compiled at the district level to identify and prioritize needs.

Assessments will be repeated yearly to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas of improvement. The Wellness Committee will revise the Wellness Policy, as needed and develop work plans to facilitate its implementation.

Every two years the Coordinated School Health Program will conduct a Lynn Youth Risk Behavior Survey and analyze outcomes in nutrition and physical activity at grades 5-12.

Students on Soccer Field