SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PALM BEACH COUNTY


Mission: The Wellness Promotion Policy (1.11) creates a forum to educate the District and community partners to successfully collaborate in promoting healthier lives. With the District’s ultimate goal of improving student performance, the direction of the Wellness Promotion Task Force Committee is to encourage a proactive approach to holistically address the health and wellness for all school children and staff, their parents, and the community.

Wellness Promotion Goals and Objectives

April 2008

To achieve the goals of Policy 1.11, the following goals and objectives are to be used by the Wellness Promotion Task Force to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and resources of the School District. The District is encouraging a positive and proactive approach to this exciting opportunity to impact students’ health and their school environment. In all aspects of wellness promotion, District personnel should act as role models for good nutrition and physical activity behaviors.

  1. NUTRITION EDUCATION

    1. Goal: To promote nutrition education with the objective of improving students’ health and reducing childhood obesity.

    2. Objectives:

      1. The staff responsible for nutrition education should be adequately prepared and participate regularly in professional development activities to effectively deliver an accurate nutrition education program as planned. Preparation and professional development activities should provide basic knowledge of nutrition combined with skill practice in program specific activities and instructional techniques and strategies designed to promote healthy eating habits.

      2. Nutrition education information should be reviewed by a qualified and credentialed professional (e.g. School Food and Nutrition Specialist (SFNS), a Registered and/or Licensed Dietitian (R.D., and/or L.D. /N), who is specialized in school-based childhood nutrition).

      3. The school cafeteria should serve as a "learning library" to allow students to apply critical thinking skills taught in the classroom.

      4. Nutrition education should involve sharing information with families and the broader community to positively impact students and the health of the community.

      5. Nutrition education should be provided for all staff members. The District should establish and maintain a staff wellness committee. The committee should develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness.

      6. The District should provide information to families that encourage them to teach their children about health and nutrition and to provide nutritious meals for their families.

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

  2. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

    1. Goal: To promote physical activity with the objective of improving students’ health and reducing childhood obesity.

    2. Objectives:

      1. To the degree that funding is provided, daily physical activity should be integrated across the curriculum and throughout the school day for Pre-K – 12th grades. The District will follow statutory requirements for providing physical education to students including those requirements of 2007 Florida House Bill 967, as to providing 150 minutes of physical education each week for all elementary school students grades K-5.

      2. Physical education courses should be the environment where students learn, practice, and are individually assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills, and knowledge, which will support life-long benefits of physical activity.

      3. State-certificated physical education instructors shall teach all physical education classes.

      4. Recess periods for elementary grades should be encouraged, but should not be used as a punishment or a reward and not to be counted toward the 150 minutes of daily physical education. Consider planning recess before lunch since research indicates that physical activity prior to lunch can increase the nutrient intake.

      5. Physical activity participation should take into consideration the "balancing equation" of food intake and physical activity.

      6. Physical education should include the instruction of individual activities as well as competitive and non-competitive team sports to encourage life-long physical activity which provides outlets for stress-reduction.

      7. The school should provide a physical, social, and emotional environment that encourages safe and enjoyable activity for all students and staff including those who are not athletically gifted.

      8. Information should be provided to staff and families to help them incorporate physical activity into their students’ lives.

      9. Principals should be encouraged to provide students, staff, and communities the use of school physical activity facilities outside of the normal school day. Such activities shall be limited to those that do not negatively impact the instruction of students, are conducted in a safe and supervised manner, and have minimal negative impact on the school buildings, grounds, equipment, or school budget.

      10. Schools should offer extracurricular physical activity programs such as physical activity clubs or intramural programs. Schools should offer a wide range of activities that meet the needs of all students.

      11. Schools should encourage staff, families, and community members to institute programs that support physical activity such as a walk to school program.

  3. OTHER SCHOOL-BASED ACTIVITIES

    1. Goal: To promote the health and wellness of students and staff.

    2. Objectives:

      1. Principals should be encouraged to provide students, staff, and communities the use of school physical activity facilities outside of the normal school day. Such activities shall be limited to those that do not negatively impact the instruction of students, are conducted in a safe and supervised manner, and have minimal negative impact on the school buildings, grounds, equipment, or school budget.

      2. Employees shall be encouraged to engage in daily physical activity and nutrition services before and after work hours in site sponsored programs or as part of discounted membership in facilities where available.

      3. The District should establish and maintain a staff wellness committee. The committee should develop, promote, and oversee a multifaceted plan to promote staff health and wellness.

      4. After-school programs should encourage physical activity and health-habit formation.

      5. Wellness-Promotion Policy goals should be considered in planning all school-based activities (such as school events, field trips, dances, and assemblies).

      6. Support for the physical, social, and emotional health of all students and staff should be demonstrated by hosting health clinics, health screenings, and helping to enroll eligible children in Medicaid and other state children’s health insurance programs.

      7. Schools should organize wellness-promotion committees comprised of families, teachers, administrators, school health staff, and students to plan, implement, and improve nutrition and physical activity in the school environment. Each school should designate one employee as the Wellness Champion to oversee the organized wellness committee and may serve as the WPP designee.

      8. Schools should organize wellness-promotion committees comprised of families, teachers, administrators, school health staff, and students to plan, implement, and improve nutrition and physical activity in the school environment.

      9. School health services and school psychological/social services should promote the Wellness Promotion Policy goals as demonstrated by health screenings, and as an example, support groups for eating disorders, stress-reduction, and other activities.

      10. The District and each worksite shall provide information about wellness resources and services to assist in identifying and supporting the health, safety, and well-being of all students and staff.

  4. NUTRITION STANDARDS

    1. Goal: To promote nutrition guidelines, a healthy eating environment, Child Nutrition Programs, and food safety and security on each school campus with the objective of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity.

    2. The objectives are stated below:

    3. Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods on Campus

      1. In addition to providing healthful meals in the cafeteria, schools are encouraged to provide healthy selections of foods and beverages on campus (e.g. in vending machines, concession stands, a la carte, student stores, parties/celebrations, and fundraising) during the school days and to promote consistent health information that is current with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

      2. Food providers should take measures to ensure that student access to foods and beverages meets federal, state, and local laws and guidelines. Food providers should offer a variety of age appropriate healthy food and beverage selections for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

      3. Nutrition information for products served via the cafeteria should be available for reference at the School Food Service Office and eventually on the School Food Service web site.

      4. The School Food Service Department will investigate the procurement of fresh locally grown vegetables, from local farmers, to incorporate into the District menus. The partnership will provide an additional avenue for Nutrition Education.

      5. Vending companies will be encouraged to provide up-to-date nutrition information to educate consumers.

      6. Families, teachers, students, and school officials should be encouraged to be engaged and educated in choosing the competitive food selections for their school sites.

      7. Promotional activities (such as for foods, physical-fitness programs, or wellness activities), should be limited to programs that are requested by school officials to support teaching and learning. All promotional activities in schools should be connected to activities that encourage physical activities, academic achievement, or positive youth development and be in compliance with local guidelines.

      8. Food providers should be sensitive to the school environment in displaying their logos and trademarks on school grounds.

      9. Classroom snacks provided by the school should be healthy snacks. Families should be educated and encouraged to provide healthy snacks/choices.

      10. Nutrition education should be incorporated during classroom snack times and not just during meals. Foods and beverages sold at fundraisers should include healthy choices and provide age appropriate selections for elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools.

      11. Advertising messages should be consistent with and reinforce the objectives of the education and nutrition environment goals of the school.

      12. Advertising (ideally, educational information only) of foods or beverages in the areas accessible to students during meal times should be consistent with established nutrition environment standards.

    4. Eating Environment

      1. Students should be provided adequate time to eat lunch, at least 10 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch, from the time the student is seated.

      2. Breakfast periods should be scheduled to provide enough time for students to eat. An additional option should be an in-class breakfast program.

      3. Lunch periods should be scheduled as near the middle of the school day as possible. Recess for elementary grades should be scheduled before lunch.

      4. Cafeterias should provide enough serving areas so that students do not have to spend too much time waiting in line.

      5. Dining areas should be attractive and have enough space for seating the students who will be dining.

      6. Drinking water should be available for students at meals.

      7. Food should not be used as a reward or a punishment for student behaviors, unless it is detailed in a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

      8. Schools should 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.

    5. Child Nutrition Operations

      1. The child nutrition program should aim to be financially self-supporting. However, the program is an essential educational support activity. Budget neutrality or profit generation should not take precedence over the nutritional needs of the students. If subsidy of the child nutrition fund is needed, it should not be from the sale of foods that have minimal nutritional value and/or compete nutritionally with program meals.

      2. The child nutrition program should ensure that all students have affordable access to the varied and nutritious foods they need to stay healthy and learn well.

      3. The school should strive to increase participation in the available federal Child Nutrition programs (e.g. school lunch, school breakfast, after-school snack, and summer food service programs).

      4. Schools in which 50% or more of students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals with activities on campus should sponsor the Summer Food Service Program during the summer months based on the District’s calendar.

      5. The District should employ a Food Service Director who is qualified to administer the school food service program and satisfy reporting requirements.

      6. All food service personnel should have adequate pre-service training in food service operations.

      7. A child’s need for nutrients does not end when the school session ends. Therefore, effort should be made to offer meals during breaks in the school calendar and to coordinate with other agencies and community groups to operate or assist with operating, a summer food service program for children and adolescents who are eligible for federal program support.

      8. Students are encouraged to start each day with a healthy breakfast. The District should encourage 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 should operate a breakfast program. Schools should, to the extent possible, arrange bus schedules and utilize methods to serve school breakfast that encourage participation. This includes serving breakfast in the classroom, a "grab-and-go breakfast," breakfast during morning break or recess, and to the extent practicable, providing Provision II Breakfast. The District and/or school should notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program.

    6. Food Safety/Food Security

      1. The foods made available on campus provided by the School Food Authority, should comply with the state and local food safety and sanitation regulations. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans and guidelines should be implemented to prevent food illness in schools. www.haccpalliance.org/alliance/haccpqa.html

      2. For the safety and security of the food and facility, access to the food service operations should be limited to Child Nutrition staff and authorized personnel. For further guidance see the U.S. Department of Agriculture food security guidelines (available at www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Security_&_Emergency_Preparedness/index.asp).

  5. CALL TO ACTION

    1. Childhood obesity is a health crisis in Florida and throughout the United States. The epidemic begins with unhealthy eating and physical inactivity patterns established when children are very young. All segments of society have a role to play in solving this complicated health issue. The School District of Palm Beach County’s "Wellness Promotion Plan" is only one part of the solution.

    2. However, the Plan can become a highly visible part of the solution. It can have far reaching effects on what students eat in school and how change occurs in families and communities. Students and families who improve eating patterns are also likely to increase physical activity which is another contributor to obesity prevention. Effective action will require vigorous support by families, school and community leaders, and policy makers. Be Part of the Solution!

  6. WELLNESS PROMOTION TASK FORCE -- The Wellness Promotion Task Force Committee is established and members include but are not limited to: School District Department Heads, School Administrators’ Association Executive Board, Board Members, Children Services Council, Community Food Alliance, Health Care District, Health Department, Quantum Foundation, Inc., representatives from the food industry, parents and all others as deemed appropriate by existing Task Force Committee. WPP Task Force Meetings are held throughout the school year either at Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center Board Room or at the School Food Service Administrative Office.

  7. WELLNESS PROMOTION PLAN FORMAT/WORKSHEET

    1. The Wellness-Promotion Task Force should recognize that many of the recommended objectives will need phase-in time to implement. The plan should be divided into the following three sections:

      1. Those recommended objectives that can be implemented as immediate action priorities.

      2. Those recommended objectives that can be implemented as short-term (one to two years) action priorities.

      3. Those recommended objectives that can be implemented as long-term (two years or more) action priorities.

    2. The recommended objectives should be listed under each of the following goals:

      1. Nutrition Education

      2. Physical Activity

      3. Other School-based

      4. Nutrition Standards

    3. Under each of these goals, the recommended objectives will be referenced on worksheets which should further divide under the following headings: District-wide, elementary school level, middle school level, high school level and be addressed using the following format:

      1. Strategy(s)

      2. Responsible Party(s)

      3. Implementation Timeline

      4. Estimated Cost

      5. Evaluation

The Wellness Promotion Plan Format/Worksheets will serve as a broad tool for documenting the objectives and strategies. Each objective and strategy will be implemented and measured by the Wellness Promotion Task Force.