School Wellness Policy

Four Directions Charter School
Wellness Policy
October 1, 2010

The purpose of this policy is to develop healthy learners through a school environment that promotes and protects students’ health, well being and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

a. Four Directions Charter School recognizes that nutrition education and physical education are essential components of the educational process and that good health fosters student attendance and education.
b. Four Directions Charter School will involve students, parents, teachers, food service staff and community partners in implementing, monitoring and reviewing our Wellness Policy.
c. The school environment will promote and protect students’ health, well being and ability to learn by providing opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.
d. All students will have access to a variety of affordable, nutritious and appealing foods that meet their health and nutrition needs.
e. The religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity and food allergies of the student body will be respected in meal planning, nutrition education and physical activity.
f. All foods and beverages made available will meet and strive to exceed USDA Dietary Guidelines where appropriate.

The Program Manager will execute administrative procedures that ensure the implementation of and compliance with school’s Wellness Policy and Guidelines. An annual report will made to the school boarded directors to ensure compliance with the policy and guidelines.

The school will develop and implement a communications plan which includes staff and student training and communication to families to ensure understanding of rationale for the wellness policy.

1. School Meals
a. The school will provide healthy and safe school meal programs that comply with all federal, state and local statutes and regulations.
b. The Food Service Manager will establish a menu committee that includes parents, students and staff to assist in choosing menu items to be served at the school.
c. The school will accommodate the changing special nutrition needs of students and will accommodate the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity of the community.
d. Meals served through the National Lunch School and Breakfast Programs will offer a variety of fruits and vegetables, serve low fat (1%) and fat free milk except when whole or 2% milk is recommended for students with special nutritional needs; Offer lactose reduced milk when requested by students and/or parent/guardian.
e. Work towards ensuring that at least half of served grains are whole grain.
f. Continue to replace menu items that contain trans fat with foods that do not contain trans fats; and meet current USDA nutrition requirements.

2. Food Safety
a. All foods served to students will be prepared in health inspected facilities under the guidance of food safety certified staff.
b. The school will provide student access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before students eat any meals or snacks.

3. Scheduling of Meals
a. The school will make every effort to provide sufficient time for all students to eat in the school cafeteria and will schedule meal periods at appropriate times during the school day. The school will move towards:
• Providing students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 15 minutes to eat after sitting down for lunch.
• Arranging for accommodations for students who need more time to finish their lunch.
• Scheduling meal periods at appropriate time between 12:30 PM and 1:00 PM.
• Offering attractive dining areas which have enough space for seating al students scheduled for that meal period.
b. The school will, to the extent possible, arrange van pick up schedules and utilize methods to serve school breakfast that encourage participation, including “grab and go” breakfast, breakfast in the classroom, or breakfast during morning break.

4. Food and Behavior
a. The school will not use foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior (unless this practice is allowed by a student’s individual education plan, behavior intervention plan, or a 504 Individual Accommodation Plan).
b. The school will not withhold foods or beverages as punishment.

5. Snacks
Snacks served during the school day or in afterschool care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health. The school will work towards serving whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy as the primary snack items.

6. Portion Sizes
Except in cases where the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program require a larger serving size to meet meal pattern requirements, or portion sizes of the following items will be limited to:
• One and one quarter ounces for baked chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, trail mix, nuts, seeds and dried fruits.
• One ounce for cookies.
• Two ounces for cereal bars, granola bars and other bakery items.
• Four fluid ounces for frozen desserts, including, but not limited to, low-fat or fat free ice cream.
• Eight ounces for non frozen yogurt.
• Twelve fluid ounces for beverages, except 16 fluid ounces for milk and unlimited for water.
• Fruits and non-fried vegetables are exempt from portion size limits.

7. Food Marketing
a. School based marketing of brands promoting predominating low nutrition foods and beverages are prohibited. The promotion of healthy foods, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products is encouraged.

8. Nutrition Education
The school will provide nutrition education as a part of a holistic, sequential, age appropriate, comprehensive program designed to provide students and their families with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health for a lifetime. Development and adoption of Nutrition Education curricula will follow school policies and the accompanying regulations regarding new curricula. Nutrition Education at Four Directions will:
a. Develop and deliver a sequential, interdisciplinary comprehensive 8-12 health education program that will be included as part of an 8-12 comprehensive curriculum delivered by a licensed teacher.
b. Be offered as part of an early and consistent program that is integrated throughout the school day and after school programs.
c. Use the school cafeteria as a learning laboratory and include enjoyable, developmentally age-appropriate, participatory activities such as taste tests, promotions, farm visits to farms and gardens.
d. Be culturally relevant and teach students about cross-cultural nutrition.
e. Provide and promote nutrition education to families and the broader community services.
f. Be reviewed annually by school health education instructors, food service, health related services, students, parents and school staff.
g. Promote a healthy lifestyle and wellness program using district web site and student newsletter.
h. Train staff in stress management, nutrition education and provide general wellness resources and opportunities.

9. Physical Activity
a. The school will provide students regular physical education of 180 minutes a week for high school students for the entire school year.
b. The school will maintain graduation requirements of two Health credits and 4 credits in Physical Education.
c. The school will follow state compulsory instruction law which requires all students ages 13-21 to receive instruction in health and physical education. There will be no exemptions to this law.
d. School communities will examine if biking and walking to school is safe and encourage students to bike and walk to school where appropriate.

10. Staff Wellness
School staff will serve as role models for students and are key to successful implementation of student wellness programs. The school will offer staff wellness programs as well as general wellness resources and opportunities. This may include workshops and presentations on health promotion, stress management, education and resources that will enhance morale, encourage healthy lifestyles, prevent injury, reduce chronic diseases and foster exceptional role modeling.

11. Communications with Families and the Community
1. The school recognizes that parents and guardians have a primary and fundamental role in promoting and protecting their children’s health and well-being.
2. The school will support parents’ efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.
3. The school will provide information to families, community based organizations and the general public about ways to promote healthy lifestyles.
4. The school will encourage community based organizations and other out of school time activity providers to provide healthy foods and physical activity as part of their programming.
5. The school will encourage community based organizations to and other out of school time activity providers to adopt wellness policies that will promote healthy lifestyles.

12. Implementation and Monitoring
1. The Program Manager will execute administrative procedures that ensure the implementation of and compliance with the wellness policy. These procedures shall include adoption of current guidelines, the designation of site-based staff responsible for policy implementation and an implementation work plan.
2. An annual report will be made to the School Board to ensure district wide compliance with the policy.
3. A Wellness Committee shall be formed to plan, implement and improve the school’s nutrition and physical activity environment.
4. A school assessment will be implemented to assess the nutrition and physical activity needs of students. Assessments will be repeated every three years to help review policy, compliance, assess programs and determine areas in need of improvement.

Four Directions Charter School Wellness Policy