SCHOOL DISTRICT WELLNESS PROGRAM
The School Committee recognizes the relationship between student well-being and student achievement as well as the importance of a comprehensive district wellness program designed to promote healthy behaviors and decision-making, and encourage lifelong behaviors of balanced nutrition, exercise, and emotional & physical well-being. Therefore, the school district will provide developmentally appropriate and sequential nutrition and physical education as well as opportunities for physical activity. The wellness program will be implemented in a multidisciplinary fashion and will be evidence-based.

Wellness Committee
The Leicester Public School District will maintain a Wellness Committee that consists of at least one (1): parent, student, nurse, school food service representative, School Committee member, school administrator, teacher, member of the public, and other community members as appropriate. If available, a qualified, credentialed nutrition professional will be a member of the wellness committee. The Superintendent will offer consultation and provide input on implementation and evaluation of the policy to ensure compliance; will assess for integration in the district curriculum and alignment with core frameworks; and will ensure that the policy supports the district strategic plan. The Wellness Committee will meet monthly to review & modify the policy, and make recommendations to the School Committee for review and adoption of policy revisions as needed as well as to plan for implementation and evaluation of this policy.

Nutrition Guidelines
It is the policy of the school district that all foods and beverages made available on campus during the school day are consistent with National School Lunch Program nutrition guidelines. Foods that provide minimal nutritional value compete with healthy school meals and send mixed messages to students. Guidelines for reimbursable school meals will not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to law. In addition, the following guidelines will be followed in all Leicester Public Schools:
  • An adequate amount of time must be provided for students to eat meals. It is recommended that all schools provide students with at least 30 minutes for lunch, providing a minimum of at least 20 minutes seat time to consume their meal. Breakfast should be scheduled for a minimum of 10 minutes seat time.
  • Elementary schools will consider scheduling recess before lunch. This would allow children to consume a nutritious lunch in a relaxed environment.
  • All schools in the Leicester Public School District will eliminate sales of all beverages with added sugar or sweeteners. Replacement beverage recommendations include water and other healthier options (such as carbonated juices & 100 % juices) in all vending machines, school stores, and in before and after school programs and activities. Foods and beverages sold or provided to students 30 minutes before the beginning of the school day until 30 minutes after the school day must comply with the standards. Competitive foods and beverages must follow the 2010 MA School Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverage Act (52:125) and future revisions of the regulations. Foods and beverages made available and/or sold to students in vending must comply with the standards at all times.
  • School staff will not utilize food as a reward or punishment for students, unless specific provision is included in a student I.E.P.
  • Organizations are encouraged to offer non-food items for fundraisers. Any food offered at school must also comply with the SMART SNACKS Federal Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and the MA Competitive Foods Bill of 2012 or subsequent regulatory revisions.
  • All food and beverages sold outside the school meal program shall contain nutrition label information to inform consumers of potential allergen exposure. Specific guidance related to this section of the policy will be made available at each school.
  • Foods and beverages brought to classrooms for celebrations should include a variety of healthy choices and limit the amount of baked goods per event. Classroom celebrations are limited and must receive advance approval from each school Principal.
  • Only food purchased from the school cafeteria or a lunch brought from home are permitted in the school cafeteria. No club or organization may sell or make available any food or beverage in a school cafeteria at meal time. No outside deliveries of food (take-out) for student consumption may enter the schools during school hours.
  • School cafeterias must be maintained in a healthful manner, with adequate ventilation, lighting and seating.

Health Education
A comprehensive program of health education, provided in grades PK-9, will be designed to promote healthful living and discourage health-risk behaviors. The health education program will be an integral part of a coordinated school-based health program. It will be consistent with the MA Health Curriculum Frameworks and National Health Education Standards. District health education curriculum standards and procedures will address both nutrition and physical education.
  • Curriculum Integration — Nutrition education, administered as a separate course as well as integrated into other subject areas, will be delivered as part of a comprehensive school health education curriculum.
  • School Nutrition Program-- The Food Service Director and Food Service Staff will provide activities and programs in each school to promote healthy eating habits.
  • Community Involvement — Nutrition education will involve sharing information with the community and encouraging activities that communicate consistent messages both at home and in school.

Physical Education
Schools will provide a physical and social environment that will encourage safe and enjoyable activities to promote life-long physical wellness. Physical education programs will be offered in all district schools for a minimum of 45 minutes per week for all K-5 students and will equate to an average of 45 minutes per week for students in grades 6-12. Such programs will be in accordance with the Massachusetts Health Curriculum Frameworks and will challenge the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains, producing physically educated persons.

Other Provisions of the Wellness Policy
  • Students, including those eligible for USDA food programs, shall be able to access and purchase meals and beverages in a confidential manner.
  • Environmentally-friendly practices, such as the use of locally grown and seasonal foods and foods grown in school gardens, shall be considered and implemented, where appropriate and feasible.
  • Physical activities and/or nutrition services or programs designed to benefit staff health shall be considered and, to the extent practical, implemented.

Implementation and Evaluation
The Wellness Committee, in consultation with the Director of Curriculum and/or Superintendent, will assess all education curricula and materials pertaining to wellness for accuracy, completeness, balance and consistency wistate and district's educational goals and standards. The Wellness Committee shall ensure dissemination of the Wellness Policy and shall review all school practices against the policy to ensure that such practices are consistent with the policy’s provisions. The Wellness Committee will annually review health indicators, examples listed below, to assess wellness initiatives and to make future programming recommendations and policy revision recommendations. Wellness Committee representatives will report to the School Committee annually in September.

**//BMI (Body Mass Index)//** provides a measure of student wellness and may be used as a counseling tool within the district. Data will be collected with full anonymity of students.
**//Youth Risk Behavior Survey//** provides data on health risk behaviors among students in grades 9 – 12.
SOURCE: MASC (adapted)
ADOPTED:
LEGAL REFS.: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,
The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, Section 204,
P.L. 108 -265 and P.L. 111-296, sec. 204,
The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1751 - 1769h
The Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1771 – 1789
CROSS REFS.: EFC, Free and Reduced-Cost Food Services

ADOPTED: December 9, 2014