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Wellness Policy for Unit Seven Schools

Updated June, 2012

BELIEF STATEMENT

The Board of Education of Community Unity School District #7 is committed to providing a learning environment that supports and promotes wellness, good nutrition, and an active lifestyle and recognizes the positive relationship between good nutrition, physical activity and the capacity of students to develop and learn. The environments of our schools will be aligned with healthy school goals to positively influence students’ beliefs and habits and promote health and wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity.

INTENT

The purpose of this policy is to ensure school environments that promote and support student health and wellness, helps to reduce childhood obesity, and meets the requirements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Sec. 204 of Public Law 111-296) of 2010 and the Illinois School Code, including goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. The principal or designate will work with a team of people at each school, which may include school nurses, cooks, PE and health teachers,

parents, students, school board members and others interested, to set wellness goals for their school. These goals will be evaluated annually and progress will be reported to the Superintendent and Unit Seven Board of Education.

RATIONALE

The link between nutrition and learning is well documented. Healthy eating patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. Healthy eating is demonstrably linked to reduced risk for mortality and the development of many chronic diseases. Schools have a responsibility to help students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to establish and maintain lifelong healthy eating patterns. Schools also have a responsibility to help students establish and maintain lifelong habits of being physically active. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, regular physical activity is one of the most important things people can do to maintain and improve their

physical health, mental health, and overall well-being. Regular physical activity reduces the risks

of premature death and of heart disease, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes. Well- planned and well-implemented wellness programs have been shown to positively influence children’s health.

GOALS FOR NUTRITION EDUCATION

Students in kindergarten through grade 12 will receive nutritional education as part of a sequential program that is coordinated within a comprehensive health education curriculum. The program will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt healthy eating behaviors aimed at influencing students’ knowledge, attitudes, and eating habits. The curriculum will be consistent with and incorporate relevant Illinois Learning Standards. Teachers of students in grades K-8 will use the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Children’s Health) Go for Health curriculum.

To maximize classroom time and achieve positive changes in students’ eating behaviors, teachers will receive in-service training, and nutrition education will be integrated into the standards-based lesson plans of other school subjects such as math, science, language arts, and social science, in addition to the more traditionally taught physical education, health, and family and consumer science classes.

GOALS FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Students in kindergarten through grade 12 will participate in physical education classes that enable them to achieve and maintain a high level of personal fitness.

The physical education curriculum will foster the development of movement skills, enhance health-related fitness, increase students’ knowledge and encourage healthy habits and attitudes for a healthy lifestyle. The curriculum will be consistent with and incorporate relevant Illinois Learning Standards.

Physical education will be provided by trained staff that is certified by the state to teach physical education.

Students in kindergarten through grade 5 will receive the recommended minimum of

150 minutes per week of physical activity at school with 90 minutes of physical education class and daily, supervised recess.

Students in grades 6-12 will receive the recommended minimum of 225 minutes per week of physical activity at school by attending daily physical education classes, unless

otherwise exempted.

Students will be provided opportunities for physical activity through before- and after- school programs.

Schools will maintain community partnerships with other child-serving organizations such as park districts, youth leagues, and the YMCA to provide students with opportunities to be active.

Schools will provide student and community access to use of the school’s physical

activity facilities outside of the normal school day.

Physical activity facilities and equipment on school grounds will be maintained to ensure student safety.

GOALS FOR SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAMS

The nutritional content of school meals will be updated annually and posted on each

school’s website.

Schools will provide an environment that is safe, comfortable, pleasing, and allows ample space and time in which to eat meals.

Schools will provide free and reduced meals and affordable access to nutritious foods without any stigma or identification.

Schools will provide all students affordable access to varied and nutritious foods.

Food service personnel will have pre-service training and regularly participate in professional development activities that promote providing tasty, appealing, and healthy school meals.

Food service personnel will work with suppliers to obtain foods and beverages that

meet the nutrition requirements of school meals and nutrition standards for those foods sold individually.

Schools meals will promote nutritious food and beverage choices consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Food Guidance System (My Plate) such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, and whole grain products and will meet, at a minimum, the nutrition requirements and regulations for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program and all applicable state and local laws and regulations.

GOALS FOR OTHER SCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITIES DESIGNED TO PROMOTE STUDENT WELLNESS

Students will have access to water throughout the school day. They may carry water bottles and/or have access to drinking fountains during lunch and passing periods.

Students, parents, and staff bringing foods and beverages to school for parties and celebrations will be encouraged to provide healthy options and will be provided with a list of recommended foods and beverages.

Physical activity and movement will be integrated, when possible, across the curricula and throughout the school day.

Parents will be provided with information to help them incorporate healthy eating and

physical activity into their children’s lives. This information may be provided in the form of newsletters, postings on the school or district’s website, and other appropriate means available for reaching parents.

Schools will be encouraged to make healthy food and/or beverage options (fruit, water, etc.) available wherever and whenever food is sold or otherwise offered at school.

GOALS FOR MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION

The district superintendent will be charged with the operational responsibility for ensuring that each school meets the local wellness policy requirements.

The principal of each school will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of the wellness policy and creating a team of interested persons (nurse, cooks, PE teachers,

parents, school board members, etc.) to set annual wellness goals for their building. School wellness goals will be shared with parents and the community by posting on the school website.

Each school-based wellness team will evaluate the school’s effectiveness in implementing their plan and achieving their wellness goals annually. Their findings will be reported to the district superintendent and board of education each May and a Plan of Action for Improvement developed, as needed. Progress on school wellness goals will

also be shared with parents and the community by posting on the school website. Schools may also recommend revisions to the Unit Seven Wellness Policy, as deemed necessary, at this time.