St. Edward School Wellness Plan

Reviewed May 6, 2024

Wellness Policy:  

The wellness policy requirement was established by the Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act of 2004 and further strengthened by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA).  It requires each local educational agency participating in the National School Lunch Program to develop a wellness policy.  The final rule expands the requirements to strengthen policies and increase transparency.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to ensure a school environment that promotes and 

protects students' health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

St. Edward School is committed to providing a healthy school environment because of

  1. The Education Committee and Staff recognize that nutrition education and physical education are essential components of the education process and that good physical and mental health foster student attendance and learning.  

  2. The school environment should promote and protect students' health, well-being, and ability to learn by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

  3. The school encourages the involvement of students, parents, teachers (Grades PreK-8, physical education, health, and science teachers), food and nutrition services staff, education committee, school administrator, the school nurse, and the general public in implementing, monitoring, and reviewing school nutrition and physical activity policies.   A Wellness Committee shall be formed to plan, implement, and improve the school's nutrition and physical activity in the school environment.

  4. Children need access to healthy foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, thrive, and achieve academic success.     

  5. All students (grades PreK-8) will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis. 

  6. Qualified food and nutrition services personnel will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; and try to accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide clean, safe and pleasant settings. 

GUIDELINES

{The Act requires that schools have nutrition guidelines, selected by the school,

for all foods sold on the school campus during the school day with the objective of promoting student health and reducing student obesity.}

Foods and Beverages Served/Sold During the School Day

All foods and beverages made available on campus will be consistent with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 

  • Food and beverages sold over a school week will be nutrient-dense, including whole grain products, protein, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to provide students with a variety of choices to maintain a balanced diet. 

  • Foods and beverages sold during the school day will include a variety of healthy choices that are of excellent quality, appealing to students, and served at the proper temperatures.

  • Foods and beverages sold during the school day minimize the use of trans and saturated fats, sodium, and sugars as defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  • The Food and Nutrition Department will approve and provide all food and beverage sales to students in grades PreK-8.  Given young children's limited nutrition skills, food in elementary schools will be sold as balanced meals.  Food and beverages will not be sold individually to students except low-fat milk.

  • Foods and beverages sold during the school day will minimize the use of

trans and saturated fats, sodium, and sugar as defined by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 

  • A choice of at least two fruits and/or non-fried vegetables, protein, dairy, and grains will be offered at meals.  

  •  Such items will include, but not limited to, fresh fruits and vegetables at least once a week; 100% fruit and vegetable juice; cooked, dried, or canned fruits   (canned in fruit juices or light syrup); and cooked frozen and canned vegetables.    St. Edward School participates in the farm-to-school program and gladly accepts locally grown fruits and vegetables.  

  • All competitive foods (foods and beverages sold on school grounds to students, outside of reimbursable meals) will meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School (Smart Snacks)    nutrition standards and any applicable state nutrition standards.

  • At this time, no competitive food or beverages are sold in school.

Portion Sizes:

  • Food and beverages will be offered in modest portion sizes, age-appropriate for preschool, elementary, and junior high students, respectively.

  • Food and nutrition service personnel will take every measure to ensure that student access to foods and beverages meets or exceeds all federal and state guidelines.

  • Food and nutrition service personnel shall adhere to all federal, state, and local food safety and security guidelines.

  • The school will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to and prevent the overt identification of eligible students for free and reduced-price school meals.  The school will promote the availability of school meals to all students.

{Note:  The Act requires that the school's wellness policy assure that guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulation and guidance issued by the Secretary of Agriculture under the Child Nutrition Act (42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.) and sections 9 (f)(1) and 17 (a) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1758 (f)(1), 1766(a), as those regulations and guidance apply to schools.} 

  • The school will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks. 

  • The school will make every effort to provide students with sufficient time to eat after sitting down for school meals and will schedule meal periods at appropriate times during the school day.  

  •   St. Edward's School:

a.  We will provide students with at least 15 minutes after sitting down for lunch.

b.   Should schedule meal periods at appropriate times,  i.e., lunch should be       scheduled between 11:00 am-1:00 pm, and

c.  Dining areas should be attractive and have enough space for seating all students. 

  • The school will discourage meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities.

  • The school will discourage students from sharing their foods or beverages during meals or snack times, given concerns about spreading germs, allergies, and other restrictions on some children's diets.

  • The school will encourage all children to have breakfast either at home or at school to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn.

Snacks/Breakfast  

Snacks and/or breakfast offered during the school day will make a positive contribution to

children’s diets and health and will emphasize serving whole grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and dairy as the primary snack items.  Examples include the following: apples, bananas, whole grain crackers or bread, eggs, meat, raw vegetables such as carrot sticks, and milk or cheese.  The school will distribute a list of healthful snack items.

Field Trips

When planning a field trip that will occur during the scheduled lunch periods the classroom teacher will, to the extent possible, collaborate with Food and Nutrition Services to provide a healthy lunch.

Rewards

The school will limit the use of foods or beverages as rewards for academic performance or good behavior (unless this practice is allowed by a student's individual education plan or behavior intervention plan), and will not withhold food and beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment. Rewards and incentives will be used that do not undermine the health of students and/or reinforce unhealthful eating habits.  Non-food rewards and incentives will be used as the first choice to encourage positive behavior.

Celebrations

Schools should limit celebrations that involve food during the school day to no more than one party per class per month.  Classroom celebrations should encourage healthy choices and portion control.  The celebration should take place during the last hour of the school day so it will not interfere with school meals.

Fundraising

To support children's health and school nutrition-education efforts, our school will encourage fundraising that promotes the sale of non-food and nutritional food items; being mindful of food safety. Our school will encourage fundraising activities that promote physical activity. 

 

School-sponsored Events

Concession sales can be a great opportunity to provide and promote healthy choices.  Concession sales can be profitable and contribute to the health and well-being of students.  Research shows that students will buy and consume healthy foods and beverages when the options are tasty, accessible, and affordable.  To the extent possible, healthy choices will be made available.

Promotional Activities

Promotional activities will be limited to programs that are requested by school officials to support teaching and learning.  All promotional activities in school will be connected to activities that encourage physical activity, academic achievement, or positive youth development.

Classroom Treats

Treats brought to the classroom to be shared with other classmates (i.e. Birthday treats) cannot be homemade.  Due to food safety, please consider the following for classroom treats: fresh fruit, fruit snacks, or commercially prepared treats.

School Food and Nutrition Program/Personnel

The school will provide healthy and safe school meal programs that strictly comply with all federal, state, and local statutes and regulations.  Smarter Lunchroom techniques are utilized by school food and nutrition personnel.

 

The Director of Food and Nutrition Services and food services personnel shall be responsible for the school meal programs, whose duties shall include the creation of nutrition guidelines and procedures for the selection of foods and beverages served in the cafeteria during the day to ensure food and beverage choices are consistent with current USDA Dietary Guidelines.

The Food and Nutrition Services program will be financially self-supporting.   However, the program is an essential education support activity.  Budget neutrality or profit generation will not take precedence over the nutritional needs of the students.  Food and Nutrition Services will ensure that all students have affordable access to the varied and nutritious foods they need.

As part of the school's responsibility to operate a food and nutrition service program, the school will provide continuing professional development for all food and nutrition service personnel.  Staff development programs will include appropriate certification and /or training programs for the Director and staff according to their level of responsibility.

Nutrition Education and Promotion

{Note: the Act requires that wellness policies include goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness in a manner that the school determines is appropriate.}

The school will encourage and support healthy eating by students and engage in nutrition promotion that is:

Offered as a part of a sequential, comprehensive program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote and protect their health;

 

Integrated into other areas of the curriculum such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects, where appropriate; enjoyable, developmentally appropriate, culturally relevant, and includes participatory activities, such as a contest, promotions, taste testing, and field trips.

  • 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, combined with skill practice in program-specific, evidence-based activities and instructional techniques and strategies designed to promote healthy eating habits. 

  • The Director of Food and Nutrition Services or a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) will encourage nutrition education in the classroom and when available will provide nutrition education information, upon request.  The month of March will be designated Nutrition Awareness Month. 

  • The school cafeteria may serve as a “learning laboratory to allow students to apply nutrition skills in the classroom.  The promotion of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and low-fat dairy products will be encouraged.

  • The school will provide information to families that encourage them to teach their children about health, nutrition, and the importance of daily physical activity.  The school promotes marketing and advertising during the school day only of food and beverages that are consistent with school nutrition standards.

Staff Wellness  

St. Edward School highly values the health and well-being of every staff member and will plan and implement activities and policies that support personal efforts by staff to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The school staff should act as role models for good nutrition and physical activity behaviors. 

Physical Activity

  • Physical Education    All students in grades PreK-8, including students with disabilities and special health care needs, will receive regular physical education (or its equivalent of 90 minutes per week) for the entire school year. All physical education will be taught by a physical education teacher.  The physical education curriculum should be coordinated with the health education curriculum. Physical education will be in an environment where students learn, practice, and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills, and knowledge.  Student involvement in other activities involving physical activity will not be substituted for meeting the physical education requirement.  Students will spend at least 50 percent of physical education class time participating in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

  • Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom Setting  For students to receive the nationally recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e. At least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, students need opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class.  

Classroom health education will reinforce the knowledge and self-management skills needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce sedentary activities such as watching television; Opportunities for physical activity will be incorporated into other subject lessons (such as science, math, and social studies), where appropriate; and Classroom teachers will provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate.

Daily Recess  All students will have at least 25 minutes a day of supervised recess, preferably outdoors, during which schools should encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity.  The school will discourage extended periods of inactivity. 

Physical Activity Opportunities Before and After School In cooperation with the Minneota Public School and Community Education, elementary and junior high students are offered extracurricular physical activity programs such as football, basketball, track, and wrestling after school.  Minneota Public School offers a range of activities that meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students, including boys, girls, students with disabilities, and students with special healthcare needs.  Non-school-related activities will be scheduled through the office.

Physical Activity and Punishment  Teachers and other school personnel will discourage the use of physical activity (i.e. Running laps, or push-ups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (i.e. Physical education) as punishment. The school will discourage tutoring, club or organizational meetings,  or activities during recess or physical education class times.

Communication with Parents via Website/Email

  • The school recognizes that parents and guardians have a primary and fundamental role in promoting and protecting their children's health and well-being.

  • The school will support parents' efforts to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for their children.

  • The school will provide information about physical education and other school-based physical activity opportunities and will support parents' efforts to provide their children with opportunities to be physically active outside of school.

Food Safety and Security 

  • All foods made available on campus comply with the state and local food safety and sanitation regulations.  Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans and guidelines are implemented to prevent food illnesses in schools.

  • For the safety and security of the food and facility, access to the Food and Nutrition Services operations is limited to Food and Nutrition Staff and authorized personnel.

IV. IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING

{Note:  The Act requires that the wellness policy establish a plan for measuring implementation of the policy, including the designation of at least one or more persons within the school as appropriate, charged with operational responsibility for ensuring that the school meets the requirements of the wellness policy.}

  • St. Edward School will assess the physical activity needs of students. Assessments will be repeated annually to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement.  The physical education teacher will be responsible for coordinating the challenge and reporting results to the principal.

  • To satisfy the requirement of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the Wellness Committee will monitor and evaluate the school's implementation of the Wellness Policy.  The Wellness Committee will meet annually in the spring to review and update the policy.  The principal will ensure that the Wellness Committee provides an annual report to the Education Committee and the public on the implementation of and compliance with the school wellness policy.  The principal will ensure that a copy of the current wellness policy and assessments is available to the public via the school website.  The principal will ensure the Wellness committee maintains records of the local wellness policy triennial assessments and updates.  

  • After approval by the Education Committee, the Wellness Policy will be implemented throughout the school.

  • The Director of Food Service and the school principal are designated to ensure that the school meets the requirements outlined in this Wellness Plan.

  • The Wellness Policy will be made available to parents to inform them of the policy.  Changes made to the policy will be communicated to the Education Committee and the larger community.

  • The Director of Food Service will monitor the breakfast and lunch menus to ensure the proper variety of food choices is provided daily and that proper portions are used during meal service.

  • The Director of Food Service along with assistance from the Wellness Committee will assess, update, and modify the local school wellness policy once every three years.  The assessment will include compliance with the wellness policy, how the local wellness policy compares to model wellness policies, and a description of the progress made in attaining goals.  The results of the assessment will be made available to the public via the school website.

  • Teachers will report to the principal if any students are not following the classroom treats or snack policy outlined in the Wellness Policy.  The principal will make proper notifications to parents.

  • The physical education teacher will monitor the physical fitness of students and report any concerns to the school nurse or the principal.

  • The Director of Food Service and the principal are jointly responsible for monitoring and implementing all other areas outlined in the Wellness Plan.

  • Staff responsible for the areas outlined within this policy will ensure compliance and will report to the Wellness Committee as appropriate.  An annual report of the school's compliance with the policy will be given to the Education Committee.

Legal References: 

42 U.S.C. # 1751 et seq. (Richard B. Russel National School Lunch Act)

  42 U.S.C. # 1771 et seq. (Child Nutrition Act of 1966)

  P.L.  108-265  (2004) # 204 (Local Wellness Policy)

  7  U.S.C. # 5341  (Establishment of Dietary Guidelines)

  7  C.F.R.  # 210.10  (School Lunch Program Regulations)

  7  C.F.R.  # 220.8  (School Breakfast Program Regulations)

Local resources: Minneota, MN. Public School Wellness Policy 

   Minnesota Department of  Education,  www.education.state.mn.us

   Minnesota Department of Health,  www.health.state.mn.us

   Lyon County Health Department

   Action for Healthy Kids Minnesota,  www.actionforhealthykids.org.

Additional References and Associations:

  • American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

  • (AAHPERD)

  • American Association of School Administrators (AASA)

  • Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

  • National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)

  • National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)

  • National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE

  • National PTA

  • National School Boards Association (NSBA)

  • School Nutrition Association (SNA)

  • Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

  • National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI) Eating at School Summary

  • United States Department of Agriculture

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services

  • Possible websites for information include: eatright.org, kidshealth.com, mypyramid.gov


Adopted:    Spring 2006      Reviewed: Fall 2019

*** Highlighted areas reflect most recent changes.